It’s a big summer ahead for West Ham, who obviously look to push on from their tenth-placed finish last season. Three wins from their last three games saw them finish on a more than satisfactory 52 points, just five away from seventh and a spot in Europe and the ambition must be to challenge for the Europa League.
Indeed, with a 60,000 seat stadium, the foundations are set for bigger things, but it will take a touch more investment.
A man who appears to be on his way in is 23-year-old Villareal midfielder Pablo Fornals. Sky Sports have reported a £25m deal is close, while Claret and Hugh reported the deal has actually been completed.
So, let’s have a look at this seemingly inbound midfielder. The youngster worked under West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga, who has reportedly been interested in bringing Fornals to the club since 2017. On his Twitter, @GuillemBalague stated that the midfielder is a genius when it comes to passing and drives with the ball at high quality. He also stated the midfielder suffered with lapses in concentration, but added it’s something that can comfortably be eradicated.
Lauded by ESPN in 2017 for his ability to operate as a No.10, the midfielder’s dribbling ability is also noted. So, with that in mind, a player who should perhaps be concerned is Manuel Lanzini. Yes, he’s been on his way back from a major injury but Fornals is looking like an upgrade.
When compared to the Spaniard, he on average had fewer shots, completed less key passes and was fouled less. Obviously, the return from injury is going to muddle the stats a little bit but it’s hard to doubt Fornals’ quality.
The Argentinian has struggled immensely with injuries since his 2015 signing, with 10 different lay-offs, including rupturing cruciate ligaments that saw him out for 229 days (as per TransferMarkt). With reinforcements now potentially coming in, Lanzini will have to prove his fitness, or risk becoming an outcast at the club.
West Ham fans, what do you think? Should Lanzini be concerned? How good of a signing do you think Fornals will turn out to be? Comment below.
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