West Ham star Pablo Fornals is happy to become the club’s new utility man after he has been utilised in multiple positions.
After a slow start to life in London, West Ham midfielder Pablo Fornals has started to find consistency in his performances. After being signed by former manager Manuel Pellegrini from Villereal for £24 million, big things were expected from the Spaniard.
Fornals disappointed however and many fans were left wondering if he was cut out for life in the Premier League. Many of the complaints were about his lack of pace that wingers usually possess and that there was no space for him in the side as a midfielder.
Slowly the 24-year-old started to win over his doubters with some solid performances. Fornals’ goals against Leicester City and Liverpool helped show the West Ham faithful what he was capable of.
Despite this good form, Fornals has always been the first name people discuss when it comes to changing the starting line-up. This season the Spaniard has been one of the clubs best players and was even nominated for October’s Player of the Month award. Yet, people want to replace him with Said Benrahma in his current left-midfield role.
Fornals, however, feels as though he ‘more comfortable’ than ever in the Hammers side. Speaking to the club’s media team, the Spaniard highlighted the impact of Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku playing behind him.
"“I’m feeling more comfortable because, with Arthur and Cressy playing down the left-hand side, I can go into the middle a little bit, It’s a strange position to explain because sometimes I am defending like a winger, at other times I’m up with the striker and at other times I’m in the midfield – it depends on the flow of the game and how the boss thinks we can hurt the other team more. It depends on a lot of things”Fornals on his playing position"
The jobs that Cresswell and Masuaku do allow Fornals more freedom in the midfield. With this new free role, the midfielder is able to get forward more and drift inside the pitch. This freedom has seen Fornals’ goal output increase already this season. The Spaniard has scored two goals and assisted his teammates twice in eight games this season.
David Moyes has relied on Fornals’ skills to contribute to the team in multiple ways. The Scot has focused on players that have been able to play more than one role on the pitch. Fornals has stepped up to this demand, and it is this steep up that has kept new signing Benrahma on the bench so far.
"“Both before and during the game, the manager changes our positions and sometimes we play 2-1-2 or other times I play wide. It depends on how the boss and the coaches watch the game. They are trying to make a new and competitive team and I think they’re doing it.”Fornals told West Ham’s media team"
The ability to become a teams utility player is a big challenge, but if Fornals continues on his current path, then he will become a key member of Moyes’ side.
Fornals is the man of the moment at West Ham, but if his performance levels drop then he could find his position in jeopardy. Benrahma did impress in his short home debut against Fulham. The Algerian picked up an assist for the clubs winning goal and fans are hoping to see more of him going forward.