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Alphonse Areola not guaranteed FA Cup start for West Ham

West Ham United v Atalanta – Pre-Season Friendly – London Stadium
(Image credit: Aaron Chown)

West Ham boss David Moyes has told goalkeeper Alphonse Areola he has to be patient as he bids for a run in the team.

The Hammers signed 28-year-old Areola on a season-long loan from Paris St Germain during the summer.

But with Lukasz Fabianski enjoying some of the best form of his career this season, Areola has yet to make a Premier League appearance.

Areola, who wants to hold on to his place in the France squad for the World Cup, has had to be content with cup and Europa League appearances and has kept five clean sheets in eight matches.

However, Moyes revealed he may even stick with Fabianski when West Ham host Leeds in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

“I’ve not decided yet, I could still play Lukasz in this game,” he said.

“Alphonse has done well when he’s played for us, we’ve been quite pleased with him. Lukasz in the main has had an excellent season as well.

“Alphonse had an idea of what the situation was going to be when he came in, he has done well in the cup competitions and we’ve had no reason not to think about playing him – but again it is the FA Cup and I might make a decision on Lukasz.”

Another player having to bide his time this season is Nikola Vlasic.

The Croatian forward has started just twice in the league since his £26million summer switch from CSKA Moscow, and scored his first goal in the 4-1 win at Watford on December 28.

But with Said Benrahma now on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Algeria, Vlasic has a chance to stake his claim for a regular spot in the Hammers’ attack.

“Niki will have opportunities and we’re trying to break him in,” added Moyes.

“He’s beginning to show some good signs so let’s hope he can step up when he gets the opportunity. I do see opportunities for him with Said away.”

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