Is there more to come from West Ham’s Spanish Pablo Fornals?

Not everything has gone right for Pablo Fornals during his debut campaign with West Ham United, but that could change next season.

West Ham signed Fornals from Villereal last summer for a fee of £24 million, that fee brought a lot of excitement to Hammers fans. This excitement started to fade after the start of the season as Fornals struggled to hit the ground running at the London Stadium.

The midfielder’s main position is on the left-side of midfield, but one issue with that for West Ham is Fornal’s lack of pace. This issue has often seen Fornals struggle to make an impact in the final third when he has been deployed in that position in the Premier League.

The times when Fornals has impressed the most is when he has been deployed in either the attacking midfield position or as part of a midfield three. The 24-year-old scored two goals and assisted five in his thirty-six appearances. Despite, these numbers seeming underwhelming, for Fornals it is actually an improvement on his last season at the “Yellow Submarine“.

Fornals managed to contribute more goal contributions for the Hammers during the 2019-20 season, despite playing 303 minutes less then he did the previous season in La Liga. What makes this output even more impressive is the fact that since the restart Fornals has had to play even deeper to help cover for Aaron Cresswell‘s inconsistencies.

The midfielder has shown himself as a grafter and done the dirty work for West Ham this season. Fornals has received some criticism because he hasn’t reached the heights that were expected of him. When people thought a like-for-like replacement for Manuel Lanzini was coming, they actually got a hard-working technical grafter who will sacrifice himself for the team.

Season Grade – C+

The former Spanish youth international has a lot more to give to West Ham and needs to be given a bigger role next season so he can truly flourish.