West Ham United’s Alphonse Areola is an incredibly underrated goalkeeper.
You know you’re doing something right when you’ve played for Paris Saint-Germain, France and Real Madrid, but it still feels as though Areola doesn’t get the credit that he deserves.
Besides, even when Areola was playing for Fulham at the very bottom of the Premier League last year, he still proved himself as a top-class shot-stopper with his performances in difficult games.
Areola: Underrated goalkeeper
As such, there’s good reason to think that the Hammers have bagged themselves a superb long-term replacement for Lukasz Fabianski as long as he can endure all the time on the bench for now.
After all, the Pole’s status as the number one at the London Stadium means that Areola has actually only spent 706 minutes between the sticks this season, all of which have come in cup competitions.
However, truth be told, if there’s one thing that we’re waiting to see just as much as Areola getting his Premier League bow for the club, it’s his party trick that we still can’t wrap our heads around.
While that might sound incredibly strange out of context, Areola happens to be more flexible than even your average professional goalkeeper when it comes to his legs.
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Areola kicking the crossbar
Throwing yourself across the goal mouth with dramatic dives is part and parcel of being a top-level shot-stopper, but it seems as though Areola can be just as dynamic when it comes to his feet.
That’s because Areola has shown on several occasions that he has the mind-blowing talent of being able to touch the crossbar with his boot. Yes, that’s right, you really did read the correctly.
If we told you to go down to your local park and try to kick the crossbar, you’d probably tear your hamstring simply thinking about it, but Areola would be able to do it no questions asked.
Don’t believe us? Well, fear not, because cameras have captured the Frenchman’s unbelievable elasticity on more than a few occasions, so be sure to check out the remarkable footage below:
My thighs can’t handle another replay of the video. Madness.
While there’s never going to be an in-game scenario where Areola would need his boot to go flying up to the crossbar, that doesn’t make his party trick any less jaw-dropping.
Perhaps the only shame is that we’re set to see Areola whip out the cross-bar kick for West Ham because it would go right up there with the physical feats achieved at the former Olympic Stadium.
Then again, we’re not sure the epidemic of torn hamstrings amongst east London lads and lasses would do wonders for waiting times at local physiotherapists if he did dust off the stunt again.