West Ham United have completed the signing of highly-sought-after midfielder Pablo Fornals from Villarreal for a fee believed to be around £24 million. The Spaniard has signed a five-year deal at the London Stadium and becomes the club’s second most expensive signing in their history – behind Felipe Anderson. The 23-year-old has made more than 150 senior appearances in his career.
West Ham United Sign Pablo Fornals
? #WelcomeFornals pic.twitter.com/8GStsDIWXM
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) June 14, 2019
Career So Far
Fornals started his senior career with the Malaga B team having joined their youth set-up from Castellon. His youth career had previously begun at Villarreal. He made 41 appearances for the B side in 2014/15 before being promoted to the first-team, where he scored seven goals in 59 appearances in two years.
He was then picked up once again by Villarreal, returning to the club where it had all begun. Fornals played 70 times for the club in his first professional stint with them, scoring five times in total.
He becomes West Ham’s third signing of the summer after goalkeepers Roberto from Espanyol and David Martin from Millwall.
What They Said
Speaking to West Ham’s official website, Fornals said: “I want the Club to continue giving opportunities to young and ambitious people, people who want to do well for the long term.
“I know about the loyal fans and the stadium, which is a beautiful stadium. The fans fill the stadium every weekend and that is something admirable, especially with the passion with which football is lived there. I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.
“I have worked with Mario [Husillos, West Ham director of football] before – I know him from when I was in Malaga. With Manuel, only when I saw him and admired him on TV. Of course, Manuel was a big influence because in the end he is one of the best coaches in the world and who doesn’t want to work with people like that?!”
Husillos said: “He is a player we have monitored closely for some time, having seen him make excellent progress as a young midfielder in one of the best leagues in the world. I personally have followed his career since he was a youth player with me at Malaga, and I know we have signed an incredible professional and an incredible character.
“This is something that is very important for us at West Ham United now – not only a very good player but also a very good person with a good mentality.”