Villarreal's Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals celebrates after scoring  during the UEFA Europa league qualifying  football match between Villarreal CFand Rapid Vienna at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on October 25, 2018. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

5 Things to Know About Arsenal Transfer Target Pablo Fornals

Villareal's Pablo Fornals has been mentioned as an Arsenal transfer target for some time. However, with Aaron Ramsey half way out of the door and January nearing, the links between the Villarreal midfielder and the Gunners have resurfaced with vigour.

There are few things in football more exciting than a new Spanish playmaker. Time to get clued in then on the fleet footed 22-year-old, who has drawn comparisons with a certain Gunners hero.

Here are five things to know about the reported Arsenal transfer target.

5. Full Spain International

The 22-year-old has featured twice already for La Roja, with his appearances coming two years apart and both times (oddly enough) in friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Celta's Brais Mendez stole the headlines on Sunday, as he netted the only goal of the game in Gran Canaria. However, Fornals also looked impressive when he came on in the second half, replacing Dani Ceballos for Luis Enrique's side.

With Andres Iniesta and David Silva out of the picture at international level, there is more room in the squad for creative starlets. Expect Fornals to win more caps in 2019 as Enrique tries to move on from a mixed start in 2018.

4. Fancy Feet

Being a creative player in Spain, naturally Fornals has some pretty big shoes to fill at international level. Luckily he has pretty good feet.

Impeccable technique and fancy footwork might seem like par for the course when talking about an attacking midfielder in 2018, but Fornals skills against Athletic Club went viral back in September, as he left Iñigo Martinez for dead, with the footballing equivalent of the magic cup and balls trick.

Oh, he also scored possibly La Liga's goal of the season in the very same game.

3. Assist King

As well as skill, Fornals also boasts that all important end product.

More a scorer of great goals than a great scorer of goals (his career best saw him net six for Malaga in 2016/17), Villarreal's number eight is, however, something of an assist machine.

In his first season at the Estadio de la Cerámica, Fornals laid on 12 goals for teammates - the joint highest in La Liga in 2017/18, along with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Some company.

He has two assists in all competitions to his name in 2018/19 so far, and is in the top 20 for key passes in La Liga after 12 games.

*Statistics from

2. Cazorla's Heir

Ok, they are both Spanish, skilful and playmakers but the similarities don't stop there.

Both came through the youth ranks at Villarreal before shining at Malaga. Should Fornals complete a move to Arsenal, his career path might start to seem a bit uncanny.

After Fornals' attention-grabbing performance against Athletic Club in September, AS ran a story noting how, ten years before, Cazorla, wearing the number eight shirt Fornals now owns, had come of age for the Yellow Submarine in the same fixture with a man of the match display. Spooky.

Let's just hope Fornals has better luck with injuries.

1. Low Release Clause

Perhaps most intriguingly for Arsenal fans is the fact that Fornals' buyout clause is set at a not very off putting at all €40m (£35m).

In today's market of just about anyone you've ever heard of automatically commanding an astronomical fee, Fornals potentially represents a fairly low risk option financially for the Gunners, with Ramsey set to leave in the summer.