Needing a new goalkeeper ahead of a tough season in the Premier League, Fulham turned their attention to the foreign market to find their man.
They didn’t bring anyone in permanently, but they did manage to sign Alphonse Aréola on loan from Paris Saint-Germain following his year at Real Madrid.
The France international has been their number one ever since he arrived, and while he hasn’t managed to keep too many clean sheets, he is the man Scott Parker trusts and has performed well.
There is an option to buy in the deal, meaning there’s a chance of him staying at Craven Cottage beyond this season, but the three time capped goalkeeper also has his eye on a return to Paris Saint-Germain.
He said as much recently, and reiterated it over the weekend ahead of Fulham’s clash against Manchester City when speaking to RMC Sport.
He said: “I feel very good physically, mentally too. I found a landing spot quite late. It could have been a difficult choice to make, but, at some point, you need to know how to take a step down. It’s true that I lived some good years in the past. It’s not over. For me, it’s not over. It’s true that last year with Real Madrid was also different.
“I had that chance to go there and gain experience, in a different manner, certainly, but it’s something that helped me grow. It’s true that I missed game time and there was a need, as I told my entourage, remain humble and take a step down by one or two notches in order to bounce back stronger”.
As for why he chose Fulham, Aréola had a lot of good things to say about his current club.
He said: “I had a lot of opportunities, but I felt that I saw myself more in this project, in this challenge. I felt comfortable in the group very quickly. Communication was very quick. I just needed a few key words at the start, and then polish it a bit more.
“Personally, I’m having a good start to the season, but it’s true that if I could take away a few saves and win a few more games, for sure, that would be better (smiles)”.