West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham set to reward key man who feels ‘special’ at club, as long-term plans made clear

Samuel Bannister
Lukasz Fabianski and Michail Antonio

West Ham United are going to retain the services of Lukasz Fabianski beyond this season after reports shed light on their plans in the goalkeeping department.

Fabianski has been at West Ham since 2018, when he signed from Swansea City. He has been the Hammers’ first-choice shot-stopper ever since. Even after the arrival of Alphonse Areola in the summer, the Poland international has retained a regular starting berth.

So far this season, Fabianski has played in all of West Ham’s 21 Premier League matches. Areola has been restricted to cup outings, playing nine times in other competitions in comparison to Fabianski’s one.

There was a feeling the PSG loanee could usurp Fabianski when he arrived after a previous spell with Fulham. But instead, it is the 36-year-old whom West Ham are continuing to rely on.

And it appears that trust may last a while longer yet. Although Fabianski is out of contract at the end of the season, The Sun have reported he is due to sign an extension into the 2022-23 campaign.

Following West Ham’s win over Norwich on Wednesday, in which Fabianski kept a clean sheet, he indicated he is willing to sign on again.

He said: “I hope so. I don’t know what to say. It is always a tricky question.

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“I am very happy in this present time and present moment. I am really focused on doing well for the club. And if everything goes well then I don’t see any other options.

“It is a really special time to be part of this club at this moment in time. The club is going in a really good direction.

“We’re going really well in the league and managed to qualify for Europe so that is something special and I am really happy to be part of it.

“It is different. When I left Arsenal the main thing was to play regularly as a number one and there was always a dream to be with a club that would fight for something more. And I think West Ham is in a moment that they are trying to take another step forward and be a club that will compete for European places.”

West Ham have Fabianski succession plan

Even though Fabianski should be remaining with West Ham into a fifth season, they will need to look to the long-term at some point.

If they do not keep Areola after his loan spell ends, they will focus on the signing of West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.

The England international is out of contract with the Championship club at the end of the season. He would like another attempt at playing at Premier League level.

According to The Sun, West Ham hope to secure his signature. Then, they would oversee a transition from Fabianski to Johnstone as number one.

But their current keeper is someone they are willing to depend upon still. Therefore, they hope to get his signature on paper for a longer-term stay.

West Ham could end up becoming the club Fabianski has represented most in his career. He has made 123 appearances for them to date; only Swansea used him in more games (150).

He also previously spent time with Lech Poznan, Legia Warsaw and Arsenal.

Now, he looks likely to share responsibilities with Johnstone in the West Ham goal next season. Areola, meanwhile, still wants to stay in English football rather than return to PSG, as per L’Equipe.

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