Player Report: Pablo Fornals

West Ham may have have had a rocky season but a player who is continuing to develop is Pablo Fornals so here is what the Spanish playmaker can offer.

The next Premier League season is just round the corner with the Hammers getting their season underway against Newcastle United this weekend.

Pablo Fornals started his career at Malaga before moving to Villarreal where he made himself a house hold name making his way into the first team. Playing a 4-4-2 formation alongside the likes of Santi Cazorla and Manchester City’s Rodri he was part of a very threatening ‘Yellow Submarine’ side.

During his time at the Estadio de la Cerámica, the Spaniard made a total of 129 appearances, picking up twelve goals and eighteen assists with twelve of those coming during the 17/18 season his best season to date.

The move to West Ham proved to be the next step in his career and for £25m question marks were raised whether he could cut it in the Premier League.

However the beginning of the 19/20 season was a successful one for Fornals who was part of the team that won the Under 21’s Championship making five appearances and finding the back of the net twice.

Fornals celebrates his goal against Leicester city despite the Irons losing 2-1 it was his best performance to date and was the changing point in his style of play. Image Credit: MediaReferee

However, this positivity on the international stage was not seen at West Ham for quite a while, the 24 year old was on the wrong end of the Hammers faithful’s social media comments.

Since Christmas, he has looked a different player though having spent time on the bench at the start of Moyes tenure as manager, he has fought he way back into the starting line-up and has turned the tide.

A versatile player, Fornals can play as an attacking midfielder but has spent most of the season as a left midfielder.

The left hand side happened to be his strongest position despite being a natural attacking player, five assists made him the join assist maker in the West Ham squad alongside Robert Snodgrass. The ability to spot out key passes is something the Irons struggled with last season.

Fornals Shot Map. Image Credit:

Being able to link up with the attack is something Moyes will want to see improvements on.

Fornals biggest weakness in his game is shooting, the two goals he scored against Liverpool and Leicester both came within the box assisted by Declan Rice and Felipe Anderson.

Rice who has been a target for big money spenders Chelsea has worked his way through the West Ham ranks and was voted Hammer of the year in a closely fought contest with defender Angelo Ogbonna.

Soucek joined the Irons on a permeant transfer following a loan deal that started in January. The Czech international has made an immediate impact picking up three goals in thirteen appearances.

This midfield creates the ideal conditions for Fornals to flourish being able to work alongside a strong midfield will enable him to get out wide and provide opportunities for the strikers to score.

Attacking midfield is Fornals best role though and this is the position that he is most likely to play in next season just above Rice and Soucek either position he plays will benefit the attack, he can drop back to a more central position if needed as well and create space for Bowen or Anderson.

Despite being an attacking unit and technical on the ball, he can also add a defensive dimension often winning balls back in the midfield when needed and can move back to defence alongside Ogbonna and Diop to offer support.

As always Fornals will be fighting for his spot in the team alongside Manuel Lanzini who’s form has dipped since picking up a long term injury a few seasons ago.

Hammers faithful how do you think Fornals will fair this season, will he be the key to the Irons success? Let us know your thoughts.