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)

Pablo Fornals: 4 Things to Know About West Ham's £24m Signing

Last updated: 14/6/19

After months of being linked with a move to the Premier League, Pablo Fornals has officially joined West Ham from Villarreal for a fee in the region of £24m.

The Hammers wasted no time in taking advantage of the financial crisis at the Spanish club to agree a deal for the coveted Spanish playmaker, who was also a rumoured target for Arsenal.

Here are four things to know about the West Ham's newest star.

4. Full Spain International

The 23-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 & Herzegovina.

Celta's Brais Mendez stole the headlines as he netted the only goal of the game in Gran Canaria in November 2018. 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. If he settles in the Premier League, expect Fornals to win more caps as Enrique tinkers with his squad.

3. 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 2019, but Fornals' skills in a match against Athletic Club went viral back in September 2018, 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.

2. 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 former 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 suffered somewhat from Villarreal's downturn in form in the 2018/19 season, scoring just five goals and providing six assists from 50 appearances in all competitions. However, he was far from the only one to underwhelm in a testing season for the Yellow Submarine.

1. 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. With Fornals now completing a move to London (ok, east rather than north London), his career path is starting to look 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.