West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed that Alphonse Areola has suffered no ill effects from the head injury he sustained during the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.
The Frenchman clashed with Kurt Zouma before being forced off at half-time. However, speaking about Areola’s fitness, Moyes said that the keeper was only substituted as a precaution:
“It was just a case of we were making sure we were not doing the wrong thing. He is fine, we just felt there was no point risking him.”
Although it remains to be seen whether Areola will need to be put through concussion protocols, it seems almost certain that he will be available to face Arsenal on Sunday.
Areola has been a key player for West Ham this season
There was a fair amount of pressure on the 30-year-old to perform after he took over from Lukasz Fabianski as the club’s No.1 back in the summer.
Despite his age, Fabianski has been one of the Hammers’ most consistent performers in recent years, and his performances haven’t noticeably declined. However, Moyes decided to make Areola his preferred option for league matches.
The former PSG keeper has not let his manager down. He has the highest save ratio (76.7%) of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this campaign.
Do the Irons have other injury concerns ahead of the clash against Arsenal?
Lucas Paqueta is closing in on a return to full fitness after 5 weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury. Moyes has hinted that the Brazilian could start training again over the next week or so but he only has a slim chance of featuring on Sunday.
Michail Antonio (knee) has already been ruled out. The forward is running on the grass, but he is not ready to make his first-team comeback quite yet.