Alphonse Areola wanted to leave PSG this summer for Chelsea. The French goalkeeper, who is under the spotlight after his excellent performance against Germany on Thursday night, was keen to move to England during the recent transfer window after his current side signed Gianluigi Buffon.
Thibaut Courtois was signed by Real Madrid and there was a void in goals for the Premier League side, which Areola was keen to fill. The 25-year-old was thinking about his development after the arrival of Buffon from Juventus on a free transfer.
Christophe Lollichon, Chelsea's goalkeeping coach, revealed as much to French media after the 0-0 in the Nation's League. "We spoke a lot during the summer," he said. "He wanted to come here, but the decision wasn't my responsibility in the end. It would have been a pleasure to work with him."
"I didn't have to wait until Thursday to discover him" said Lollichon who believes it is time for the PSG shot-stopper to take over Hugo Lloris' position in goals for the national side. "Against Germany, he was good in his positioning and his ability to cut out balls behind his defence. That is the base for any keeper, but not all of them can do it at the same time. Alphonse is very proactive."
"We eulogise Lloris too much," he said. "But Areola is ahead of him. For me, he is the best keeper in France today. His size, his quality with the ball, his calmness, he is the most suitable keeper to play in this team."
The coach sais it is sad to see how the young goalkeeper has been treated by PSG, sent down the pecking order again with the signing of Buffon: "It's sad to see a club like PSG play with a 40-year-old goalkeeper, while they have Areola who meets all the necessary requirements," he added. "In Ligue 1, Buffon can play one or two more years, but in the Champions League be careful, because the game is much faster."