Last week the Hammers completed the signing of Spanish midfielder Fornals for a fee of £24million.
For a while West Ham has been hunting a box-to-box midfielder. This man would play next to Declan Rice and solidify the midfield.
A move for Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka failed and it seems manager Pellegrini has changed his thinking. Instead of overpaying for a box-to-box midfielder the hammers have prioritised another creative midfielder.
This is where Fornals enters the fray. The 23-year-old has had a few good seasons at Villarreal. Last season he scored 5 goals and assisted 6 in 50 matches for the ‘Yellow Submarine’.
See the announcement video below:
His stats may not sound too impressive from last season, but considering Villarreal finished 14th in the league Fornals was one of their most influential players. He is also capable of the occasional spectacular goal or skill move.
Pellegrini knows him from his time at Malaga as Fornals was in the youth academy. So with the signing it seems that Pellegrini wants to change the system the Hammers play.
Currently in a 4-2-3-1, with two defensive midfielders. The Chilean manager could force a change to a 4-1-2-2-1.
This formation would see Rice played as a solo holding midfielder. Meaning more attacking minded players in front of him, who will control the game and pressure the opposition.
Check out some of his best highlights:
Fornals is a player with massive potential and could become one of West Ham’s key players. He has received praise from a lot of people. Guillem Balague said in an interview
“I am surprised other clubs – UEFA Champions League clubs – did not move for him, to be honest, but their loss is West Ham’s gain, for sure
The 2017/18 season Fornals shone at his brightest. The Spaniard scored 10 goals and assisted 13 more in 46 appearances. It was this form that saw him be linked to clubs like Arsenal and Barcelona last summer and in January this year.
Pellegrini will certainly be hoping he produces stats like that this upcoming season.
Balague went on to say that Fornals was in “the mould of Barcelona”, so if he fulfills his potential West Ham could have found themselves a bargain