Alphonse Areola was born in Brittany, France and is currently under contract with Chelsea Football Club. Areola made his first team debut in the English top flight at the Emirates Stadium in London against Manchester United. He played the full 90 minutes and did not make a save. The game ended in a draw. Following this game, manager Andre Villas-Boas decided to bench Alphonse Areola and bring in Brazilian defender Kasey Keller.
It was during the 1994/ 1995 season that Alphonse Areola made his first appearance in the English premiership, playing the full 90 minutes in a goalless draw against Wolves. After being substituted he started again in the next match against Wolves, this time in the bench. This would be the first of many good seasons in which the goalkeeper remained in the starting eleven, however he was never given a chance to play for the national side, ultimately he transferred to Monaco where he spent two seasons with the club. It was at the end of this time that he signed for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, becoming the first ever foreigner to sign for the PSV Eindhoven club.
It has been almost 20 years since the last appearance of Alphonse Areola in the EFL Cup, though he was only ever once capped by uefa champions league side Wimbledon. Since then he has played for Ligue 1 side Marseille, in the Spanish second division. Though he has started well for the French club, he has failed to win any trophies and has been heavily linked with moves to Italian giants Inter and AC Milan. However, reports in India suggest that talks with both Inter and AC are progressing positively, with the Indian Express reporting that the two clubs are “hoping” to bring the defender back into the fold.
Alphonse Areola’s failure to become a regular starter for the Watford first team is largely due to a lack of match practice and a failure to establish himself as a goalkeeping ace in the English top flight. In his three seasons at the Vicarage Road club, the French goalkeeper has made only one appearance of note, in the FA Cup quarter final against Chelsea. This came against their fierce rivals from west London, and Didier Drogba came to the rescue, heading in the winning goal. Despite making just one appearance in the competition this season, Areola has been widely tipped to win the PFA Goalkeeper of the Season award, having been voted the club’s player of the year.
The club would love to retain the services of the experienced stopper, who is in his prime. Having previously rejected the chance of signing a new contract, he is believed to be considering an exit strategy. However, despite admitting that he is not yet convinced about staying on at Watford, it would be a surprise if he was to leave just before the start of the next season. Despite making over 60 appearances in the premier league, Areola has found himself playing only a part-time role, mainly as a backup goalkeeper. This, combined with the limited number of goals he has been able to hit, has seen the French club relegated back into the second tier of English football. Even the prospect of a move back to his country of origin seems remote.
So if Alphonse Areola lacks the confidence and goals needed to challenge for a place in the France first team, what other options does the club have? Well, Didier Desples has decided to leave the club following their dismal performances at the recent world cup, where they came thumped by eventual winners Brazil. However, Louis Murphy is widely tipped to take the vacant position left by Desples, and bring in some much needed World Cup experience from a top club role. Meanwhile, defender Joel Campbell will return from injury and will provide a much-needed centre forward for France to ponder over.