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  • Alessandro Schiavone

Exclusive Areola: Scamacca is our Haaland. Man City? We're tired but ready

By Alessandro Schiavone at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens (France)

West Ham United may just have landed their own Erling Haaland after completing a £30.5m deal to snap up Gianluca Scamacca.

That is the view of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola who insisted that the Italy international is a powerful weapon in David Moyes’ new-look attacking armoury.

The Frenchman revealed that on his arrival at Rush Green last week, the 25-year-old star striker was given a hero’s welcome by his new teammates who feel that the club has landed a big fish.

But in return everyone now hopes to have their faith repaid and see him consistently dish out punishment to the opponents in the manner of his more famous Norwegian counterpart.

Areola told Sun Sport: “Gianluca can be our Haaland, he really can. I watched some videos of him and whoever follows him, knows he did wonderful things in Italy.

“We gave him the warmest of welcome, now it’s down to him to take his time to be in good shape physically and make his mark.

“We need everybody this season but especially Scamacca.”

The 2018 World Cup winner with France turned his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain into a permanent deal this summer.

And he now reiterated that his side have no inferiority complex when serial winners Manchester City travel to London Stadium today.

He fancies West Ham’s chances of getting off to a dream start after laying the foundations during a gruelling pre-season.

He said: “We had an intense pre-season, lots of training sessions and matches.

“But the club decided to stay back in England to allow us to recover well.

“We are a bit tired physically but that’s part and parcel of the preparations.

“It’s our task now to get mentally and physically ready for this D-Day, this rendez-vous with Man City.

“But we feel good and will give everything against them, like in every match.”

West Ham were the best of the rest last season, finishing in 7th place in the Premier League.

They also reached the semi-final of the Europa League against all odds, leading Areola to think that there’s still a lot of fun to be had with this squad.

He said: “We can do even better than last year when we showed that we could hold our own in these kinds of competitions.

“Especially on the European scene, we sparkled.

“Now we have to make the most of last season’s experience to know at what moments exactly we need to accelerate.”


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