West Ham United are reportedly keen on adding Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals to their ranks ahead of the start of the 2019-20 Premier League season and are apparently close to sealing a move for him according to Marca. The report states that the Hammers are offering a sum of €27m which matches the club’s valuation of the player.
The attacking midfielder has been with the Spanish club since 2017, having been a part of their youth set-up before making a name for himself at another Spanish side, Malaga. He signed for Villarreal for a fee of around €12 million, and his contract at the club expires in 2022. The report states that West Ham United are the only club currently interested in signing the attacking midfielder this summer.
Prior to his switch to Villarreal, Fornals played for Malaga and their B team, before which he played for lower league side Castellón in their youth team.
The 23-year-old played in 48 games in all competitions in the 2018-19 season for Villarreal, scoring 5 times and providing 6 assists for his team. He featured in a number of positions for Villarreal but primarily played as an attacking midfielder. Fornals has played twice for the Spanish national side, receiving his first cap back in 2016.
How will he fit in?
Fornals is a classy operator in midfield who can keep the ball ticking and make good passes and through balls for his teammates. The attacking midfielder is also a strong dribbler who can make an impact in the final third with his quick feet and the killer ball to expose opposition defences.
The attacking midfielder could take up the place of Robert Snodgrass in the Hammers’ central midfield, who featured at the heart of midfield in the latter half of the season.
West Ham United have been linked with quite a few midfielders and attacking midfielders over the last few weeks, with the likes of Baptiste Santamaria, Kostas Fortounis and Andre Gomes, a few of the players that manager Manuel Pellegrini is reportedly interested in.
The Hammers need one or two central midfielders as their midfielders have either not been in the best of form or have suffered injuries thus exposing the lack of depth in the London Stadium outfit. Jack Wilshere didn’t have a season like he would have wanted to, while Manuel Lanzini featured sporadically for the Hammers while Carlos Sanchez is another one who has suffered due to recurring injuries.