First Team Squad

Player profile and performance records.

Pablo Fornals (Midfielder)

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Pablo Fornals

Castellon, Spain
Squad Number: 18
Position: Midfielder
Born: 22nd Feb 1996 (Castellon, Spain)
Signed: 14th Jun 2019 (£24,000,000)
Contract: 5 years
Previous Club: Villareal

 

vs Chelsea

3-2: Saturday, 4th December
(Played 19 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Zouma, 71) Not a lot of time to impress but added energy and ambition. Good forward passing, then drops into the middle of the park to a traditional central midfield role and played with discipline and structure.

vs Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Wednesday, 1st December
(Played 90 minutes)

A return to form, with an excellent corner and coming so close with a wonderful volley. Started counter attacks with good tackling and smart passing, would have defended Lamptey better than Masuaku did too.

vs Manchester City

1-2: Saturday, 27th November
(Played 90 minutes)

Diligent in defence and was better on the ball this week. Did his job, it's just that his job was rather basic and boring, and the attacking side of the team just didn't work today for him to function in.

vs Rapid Vienna

2-0: Thursday, 25th November
(Played 25 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Lanzini, 65) Energetic and linked well with those around him.

vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-1: Saturday, 20th November
(Played 90 minutes)

Lucky to get a five, one of his poorest performances in a West Ham shirt. Couldn't defend Semedo, didn't pass well, just seemed caught in between defending and attacking down the flank and doing neither.

vs Liverpool

3-2: Saturday, 6th November
(Played 90 minutes)

Sensational. He was the man behind Antonio, he was running through on goal, then he was sitting beside Rice and disrupting attacks and defending with discipline. Some of his through balls were brilliant, he was key to starting counters with excellent passes and the key contributor for two goals, even if he won?EUR(TM)t be given the first. Irrepressible, irreplaceable and irresistible.

vs Genk

2-2: Thursday, 4th November
(Played 32 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Masuaku, 58) Lifted the team, as did the other two substitutes, and showed more quality on the ball in simple things than Masuaku. Unlucky not to get a goal, if only the crosses had had a little less on them.

vs Aston Villa

4-1: Sunday, 31st October
(Played 90 minutes)

Was a little up and down in chunks of the game, but he stays on because of his discipline and his ability to make smart choices on the ball under pressure. His hard work was rewarded late on, the goal taken well and his forward passing good to start the move for the fourth goal.

vs Manchester City

0-0: Wednesday, 27th October
(Played 28 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Masuaku, 62) Created a chance for Soucek and was comfortable on the ball, more ambitious than the players who had been on before him. Was on the right but floated around, as he does.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

1-0: Sunday, 24th October
(Played 90 minutes)

The best moments in play arguably came through him. A lovely acrobatic volley, a good cross that Soucek should have scored from, forced a good save that led to the corner for the goal. Better today, improving and the best of an ineffective front four until Antonio scored.

vs KRC Genk

3-0: Thursday, 21st October

(Replaced Vlasic, 83) As above. It is more curious why they were used at all.

vs Everton

1-0: Sunday, 17th October
(Played 90 minutes)

Aside from the fast opening, where Pablo excelled with clever intricate and fast passing, he was probably at his best when Soucek was removed and a wise head was needed in the middle to pass out from deep and not panic in possession. Needs to do better in front of goal.

vs Brentford

1-2: Sunday, 3rd October
(Played 90 minutes)

He and Benrahma were the two with an eye for a pass in a first half where the side were poor in possession. Fornals linked the midfield well and brought the team forward, but his impact was much lesser by the end of the game. Another who should have been withdrawn late on.

vs Rapid Vienna

2-0: Thursday, 30th September

(Replaced Yarmolenko, 75) Lifted the team when he came on and should get a lot of credit. Before his arrival, it looked a team drifting to a sucker punch. Instead, Pablo got hold of the ball and brought life to the attack.

vs Leeds United

2-1: Saturday, 25th September
(Played 90 minutes)

In a game full of tireless runners who could graft and play, Fornals struggled to match what Leeds were doing. He should have scored at least one, but did come to life just before he was substituted and showed his vision.

vs Manchester United

1-0: Wednesday, 22nd September
(Played 21 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Lanzini, 69) His class on the ball was highlighted when he came on and found players in ways other hadn?EUR(TM)t, and with ease. His awareness of his teammates and his opponents is excellent.

vs Manchester United

1-2: Sunday, 19th September
(Played 90 minutes)

Less suited to the right side of midfield than the left. His lack of pace seems more evident alongside Coufal, he is keen to play inside and was limited because he was turning more onto his weaker foot. He wasn?EUR(TM)t bad, but didn?EUR(TM)t get into the play as much as usual. Constantly nibbling at anyone who thought they had time on the ball around him.

vs Dinamo Zagreb

2-0: Thursday, 16th September
(Played 90 minutes)

Heavily involved in the attacking play, yet he was notably holding his position deeper and wider as the second half went on, aware of the need to protect the full back. Whilst his three shots weren?EUR(TM)t threatening, it was good to see him having a go in dangerous areas.

vs Southampton

0-0: Saturday, 11th September
(Played 90 minutes)

Linked well with the midfield and protected Cresswell for about 75 minutes. But he couldn?EUR(TM)t get into the game in an attacking sense, and it?EUR(TM)s only his defensive contributions that earn him more than Benrahma.

vs Crystal Palace

2-2: Saturday, 28th August
(Played 90 minutes)

His influence waned, but it was no surprise to see him doing his defensive work and covering gaps. The goal was taken brilliantly and the passing was superb. He looks to be improving further and making more impact on the scoresheet.

vs Leicester City

4-1: Monday, 23rd August
(Played 90 minutes)

Covered the most distance of any Premier League player this weekend (12.3km): is anyone surprised. The intelligence and technique of the lad are matched with an endless work-rate. Moved centrally to disrupt the Leicester midfield, it worked perfectly. Lucky not to have his ankle broken by Perez, Fornals brushed himself down and carried on at the same level of intensity. The way he presses and harries opponents inspires his teammates too. He could be the best player West Ham have ever had in defending from the front.

vs Newcastle United

4-2: Sunday, 15th August
(Played 90 minutes)

An assist for the Cresswell goal and a typical Fornals performance. Worked hard to cover Cresswell - in this quasi-wingback role he plays to protect the left - he still managed to pick pockets of space to influence in attack. Benrahma?EUR(TM)s movement made Fornals?EUR(TM) game easier, not only because he had someone on the move to pass to, but also because it took some of the responsibility off the shoulders of the Spaniard.

vs Celtic

6-2: Saturday, 24th July
(Played 90 minutes)

Simply outstanding. Two assists with two of the best passes you're likely to see this season at any level. Should be a joy to watch this year.

vs Southampton

3-0: Sunday, 23rd May
(Played 90 minutes)

It doesn?EUR(TM)t always come off for Pablo, especially around goal, but today it did. Both the finishes were perfect, the power beating the defender for the first and the instinctive reaction on the second something to marvel at. Of course, the man has no ego and remained his usual selfless self, topping things off with an assist for Rice too. A joy.

vs West Bromwich Albion

3-1: Wednesday, 19th May
(Played 89 minutes)

He is rarely as neat as Lingard or as skilful as Benrahma, but he works harder than both, makes tackles and interceptions and just defends all over the pitch, whilst having the intelligence to quickly know his next pass when he wins it back. The third goal doesn?EUR(TM)t happen without his hard work and smart pass. The second came from a shot he forced the goalkeeper to save for the corner. The first came from his cross that fell to Benrahma. Should be one of the names in the picture for player of the season, but will be overlooked by those who just don?EUR(TM)t seem to get him.

vs Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Saturday, 15th May
(Played 90 minutes)

Should be walking away from this game close to a 10/10 and with goals. But a lack of instinct seems to just halt the brilliance from turning into a flood of goals. There is no smarter West Ham player on that pitch, his passing, teamwork, discipline and ingenuity fantastic. A little extra pace would make him one of the league?EUR(TM)s best, although even then he would still need to be better in the opposition penalty area.

vs Burnley

2-1: Saturday, 1st May
(Played 90 minutes)

Another who did brilliantly in a way that won?EUR(TM)t warrant major analysis. He was just everywhere, a part of the attack and a part of the midfield, defended from the front and was excellent winning back the ball, including in the build to a first half goal. His passing was intelligent, as he always is, and it was only his lack of sharpness in the Burnley box that cost him man of the match. He and Lanzini were a joy together, a wavelength of intelligent passing and movement.

vs Chelsea

0-1: Saturday, 24th April
(Played 90 minutes)

One of the better performers for West Ham, and he still had an average game. Today?EUR(TM)s problem very much that no one shone, and often tight games this season have been won by one or two taking control. He was neat, intelligent and links with quick passes very well when building attacks. For all the brilliance he has shown from the left this year, he looks a natural in the middle, central to attacks.

vs Newcastle United

2-3: Saturday, 17th April
(Played 90 minutes)

Played reasonably well, neat and tidy for the most part, but doesn?EUR(TM)t shine as much against team that defend deep. Less ball to win back and start counters, less work off the ball allowed due to space. Made a couple vital interventions on counters, linked passes through the middle well too.

vs Leicester City

3-2: Sunday, 11th April
(Played 90 minutes)

The underrated one of that front three (or four) usually, his work will go under the radar as Lingard and Bowen take the praise. But he worked his socks off to support them and get back and defend. He linked play well and just knows where to go and be. It?EUR(TM)s a hard skill to describe, but his game sense is another level.

vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

3-2: Monday, 5th April
(Played 78 minutes)

A wonderful finish and he showed the energy and intelligence that was lacking in the side without him. But the finish was something else, a man criticised for his finishing took that chance and made it look so simple when it was anything but. The technique was spectacular. Faded as it went on, his first game back from injury, but a good start to his end of the season.

vs Leeds United

2-0: Monday, 8th March
(Played 90 minutes)

Oh that volley deserved more! As ever, Pablo got everywhere, running endlessly, a part of the defensive work one second and then the attacking moves the next. His movement and positional sense is a joy.

vs Manchester City

1-2: Saturday, 27th February
(Played 90 minutes)

Fornals and Lingard were really responsible for the moments that unsettled the hosts. Fornals in particular was brilliant defending from the front, with more tackles and interceptions than Rice, whilst the way he opened up the right side of the pitch for the Antonio goal was excellent.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

2-1: Saturday, 20th February
(Played 90 minutes)

Usually safer on the ball, he was of course everywhere across the pitch and worked as hard as ever. He seemed to be on Lingard?EUR(TM)s wavelength too and the pair dovetailed positionally with intelligence. He can take the assist for the Lingard goal, and take a little credit for leaving the ball to Lingard in the area too. The right choice to start over Benrahma.

vs Manchester United

0-1: Tuesday, 9th February
(Played 88 minutes)

Worked hard, as standard, but a couple of times he picked passes poorly when he had great opportunities to create. He had an eagerness to bring inventive and progressive passing in the second half, playing with more freedom through the middle, in a way that others were ignoring, choosing to play safe. But the big moments are where he fell.

vs Aston Villa

3-1: Wednesday, 3rd February
(Played 6 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Fredericks, 84) With limited time, he slotted into the team like he?EUR(TM)d been on from the start, working hard and enthusiastically involved in some lovely late passing moves. 6 touches, 6 passes, 100% success.

vs Liverpool

1-3: Sunday, 31st January
(Played 90 minutes)

Much the same as Bowen, really. One good moment in the first half that got Cresswell in behind, but attacks were rarely built, just rushed. Cresswell barely overlapped and Fornals was there for his running, just like Bowen.

vs Crystal Palace

3-2: Tuesday, 26th January
(Played 90 minutes)

Like Benrahma, he allied hard work with astute skill today. Created chances and openings, was abuzz with energy through the whole game and clearly has a very strong understanding with his teammates and of his teammates, clearly knowing how they play and what he can do both offensively and defensively to complement their game. He still goes underrated but is having a wonderful season.

vs Doncaster Rovers

4-0: Saturday, 23rd January
(Played 90 minutes)

Took his goal brilliantly and was on a good wavelength with Lanzini and Benrahma.

vs West Bromwich Albion

2-1: Tuesday, 19th January
(Played 28 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Lanzini, 62) Seemed to come on to do the running for the tiring attack. Was pressing where Antonio normally would be, before getting back to the wing to defend in front of Cresswell.

vs Burnley

1-0: Saturday, 16th January
(Played 90 minutes)

Provided the assist with a lovely curling cross and worked as hard as ever to support Cresswell in defence and any attacks too. At one point he cleared a ball down the line then ran after it to press the defender because no one else did.

vs Stockport County

1-0: Monday, 11th January

(Replaced Benrahma, 90) No time to do anything.

vs Everton

1-0: Friday, 1st January
(Played 73 minutes)

As ever, a great defensive display. He does that work unquestionably. Looked to have an understanding with Benrahma, which is important, and passes cleverly. His awareness of what's around him in an attacking and defensive extent is fantastic. Does need to improve his goalscoring, even if today's chance was very difficult.

vs Southampton

0-0: Tuesday, 29th December
(Played 90 minutes)

A quiet first half, Fornals came alive as others tired and covered the whole left whilst drifting centrally. There were moments he was covering gaps left by Soucek, then sprinting across to the left to make sure Cresswell?EUR(TM)s hand was held.

vs Chelsea

0-3: Monday, 21st December
(Played 90 minutes)

A willing runner, as ever, and he did the job to protect Cresswell. He lacks pace out left and that is more obvious when Haller plays. But he drifts into dangerous pockets and links well, probably coming closest to scoring with a shot blocked as it looked to be going in.

vs Crystal Palace

1-1: Tuesday, 15th December
(Played 45 minutes)

Quiet once more, yet he still had a good chance at one end whilst making the most interceptions in the team with only 45 minutes football. You will never get anything less than full effort and discipline from Pablo, but the change in team shape hasn't suited him quite so well as the 5-man defence.

vs Leeds United

2-1: Friday, 11th December
(Played 90 minutes)

A bright start soon became a job as part-time Arthur Masuaku. He still had his moments and should have scored with the time and space he had when rushing to drag wide, but with Leeds spending over half their time on the ball attacking down their right, his discipline was very important to keeping Cresswell protected. You would trust him over any other player we have to combine attacking influence with defensive diligence and that is to his credit.

vs Manchester United

1-3: Saturday, 5th December
(Played 90 minutes)

The first half was a Bowen/Fornals exhibition game. Their one-touch play and interchange between each other, on the ball and off it, was beguiling and absolutely tore the Manchester United defence and midfield to shreds.

vs Aston Villa

2-1: Saturday, 28th November
(Played 90 minutes)

In the first half, it felt like Pablo was asked to take over Antonio's running for him. In the second half, he showed a real ability to find space and lead counter attacks, instrumental in the rare breaks, whilst working hard to defend. Nothing really came off, but his work-rate was again so valuable.

vs Sheffield United

1-0: Sunday, 22nd November
(Played 76 minutes)

Like Bowen, he's always involved in West Ham attacks, even if his running isn't always used. Worked hard, as ever, drifted infield well and gets an assist for his blocked shot. His pass to Haller that led to the Soucek chance was brilliant, as was his curling ball that fed Bowen to run into the area. Him and Masuaku play very well together.

vs Fulham

1-0: Saturday, 7th November
(Played 72 minutes)

In those bursts of attacks at the start of each half he looked good. But otherwise he was another just outnumbered by the sea of Fulham defenders.

vs Liverpool

1-2: Saturday, 31st October
(Played 90 minutes)

Took the goal excellently and again was involved in almost everything dangerous West Ham did. Has a great knack of finding space amidst attacks and counter attacks. Not sure you can blame him for taking on either shot when Bowen was in better positions both times, but the second one on the run into the Liverpool area should really have been a pass. Two games at Anfield, two goals.

vs Manchester City

1-1: Saturday, 24th October
(Played 90 minutes)

His hard work and front-foot defending were very important. Supported the striker, whoever it was, even when the rest of the team was defending. As ever, the aside is that Fornals was also back and working hard to defend. He just covers so much ground and his passing outshines Bowen?EUR(TM)s.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

3-3: Sunday, 18th October
(Played 77 minutes)

There were times he was leading the line up front and times he was the last man back in defence. Another game where his work off the ball will likely go unnoticed but was vital. His movement in the Tottenham half disrupted their counter attack game too.

vs Leicester City

3-0: Sunday, 4th October
(Played 90 minutes)

Still going unnoticed by many as how vital he is in this team. Deserved a goal recently and the ability to take that sky-high ball down and go on to score was incredible. The assist for Bowen was inch-perfect and he got through so much defensive work too.

vs Charlton Athletic

3-0: Tuesday, 15th September

Did not play.

vs Newcastle United

0-2: Saturday, 12th September
(Played 67 minutes)

Unlucky with the effort off the bar, found a few little good pockets of space too, but is hamstrung as a winger out left whose first job is to protect Cresswell.

vs Brentford

2-1: Saturday, 29th August
(Played 45 minutes)

Worked like a Trojan as per usual and had a hand in West Ham's opening goal, providing the assist for his Ukrainian team mate.

vs Wycombe Wanderers

5-1: Tuesday, 25th August
(Played 86 minutes)

n/a

Aston Villa

1-1: Sunday, 26th July

Tried hard, ran into space and is good in tight spaces when we are ticking over possession like this. But the attack was just very flat.

Manchester United

1-1: Wednesday, 22nd July

As ever, Fornals was unselfish and sacrificed himself for the team, working up and down the left like a wing back to protect Cresswell and then support Antonio. Has a great habit of sensing where he’ll be needed in attack and popping up to contribute. Didn’t come off today, but he was useful at both ends.

Watford

3-1: Friday, 17th July

Not his most influential game, but his work rate was as superb as ever and the fact he is chosen at left wing, quite obviously not a natural position, is down to his desire and motivation to do what he needs to do for the team. He sacrifices his own play for the good of the side, whilst making clever runs and often involved in vital moves.

Norwich City

4-0: Saturday, 11th July

Quiet, maybe a game where his hustle and bustle was less necessary, such was the ease of it. Didn't need to be at his best, linking between midfield and attack, always busy and ready.

Burnley

0-1: Wednesday, 8th July

His worst performance for a while. Better when the game has some space and his running up and down has most impact. Just didn’t get into the game.

Chelsea

3-2: Wednesday, 1st July

Does he ever stop running? It was his energy and desire to attack that meant he picked it up as Antonio was thrown to the floor before the second goal. It was him who was square of Yarmolenko in the dying minutes as the third goal went in. His quick touch to Antonio for that breakaway was subtle but brilliant.

Tottenham Hotspur

0-2: Tuesday, 23rd June

He missed the big chance, took a yellow and was sloppier than usual. Not his best. Worked hard, as ever.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-2: Saturday, 20th June

Worked hard, as he does, but wasted a good chance and was creatively blunt.

Southampton

3-1: Saturday, 29th February

In and out of the team he might go, but again his contributions were notable. A goal on Monday, today it was two superb assists thanks to a subtlety and poise in passing that many others fail to match. Worked exceptionally hard.

Brighton & Hove Albion

3-3: Saturday, 1st February

(Replaced Snodgrass) The wrong substitution and a poor one. Fornals may as well not have been there, although the few minutes he got meant he barely was.

West Bromwich Albion

0-1: Saturday, 25th January

(Replaced Snodgrass) A smashing cameo from a player who is improving with every performance. Scored the goal that put the tie to bed.

Sheffield United

0-1: Friday, 10th January

(Replaced Lanzini) He was introduced too late. It would appear Moyes sees him as one of the two to support the striker, but he may have offered the energy in midfield that Noble couldn’t.

Gillingham

2-0: Sunday, 5th January

(Replaced Snodgrass) A smashing cameo from a player who is improving with every performance. Scored the goal that put the tie to bed.

Southampton

1-0: Saturday, 14th December

Like Snodgrass, he understood the limitations of his role in a 4-4-2, yet did brilliantly to create chances and get into positions for his own.

Arsenal

1-3: Saturday, 7th December

Fornals is continuing to work harder than anyone else in the forward positions, his touch is getting better and he set up the goal wonderfully. Let down by the rest of the side, who don’t match his application.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-2: Wednesday, 4th December

Looks more settled, working hard and starting to find his rhythm on the ball. Had the best West Ham shot of the game and produced a perfect pass for Snodgrass’s chance.

Newcastle United

2-3: Saturday, 2nd November

Did not play.

Sheffield United

1-1: Saturday, 26th October

(Replaced Noble) Scurrying around as he does, his ball across the goal was fantastic.

Crystal Palace

1-2: Saturday, 5th October

(Replaced Lanzini) Did little to influence a game that the man he replaced also struggled in.

Bournemouth

2-2: Saturday, 28th September

Worked hard and his energy was useful in the first half. Involved in some good move, but he is still just a little way off being good. Lanzini’s cameo showed what he’s missing.

Oxford United

0-4: Wednesday, 25th September

Not the player for a game requiring physical prowess.

Manchester United

2-0: Sunday, 22nd September

He didn’t really make big contributions, but his influence on the game was in his hard work all over. He did the yards in the middle to give Noble an easier game, made up ground to get to Haller, got across the width of the pitch in attacks too. That off the ball play is encouraging, as the sharpness will come on it.

Norwich City

2-0: Saturday, 31st August

(Replaced Anderson) Few minutes but he ran hard and had a few nice touches.

Newport County

2-0: Tuesday, 27th August

Missed a big chance and floated around aimlessly at times, but really good work for his goal. Still seems a little bit off where he needs to be, lacking some sharpness.

Watford

3-1: Saturday, 24th August

(Replaced Anderson) Quietly into the game late on to little impact.

Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Saturday, 17th August

Off the pace of the league so far. An extra touch here or there that isn’t needed.

Manchester City

0-5: Saturday, 10th August

(Replaced Antonio) Looked a bit lost, certainly not adapted to the pace of the Premier League, and he came on against a charged up City. As rude an awakening as you can get, he’ll need time to get used to it. Quite anonymous.

Athletico Bilbao

2-2: Saturday, 3rd August

Always looking to make something happen. Scored United's second. He looks like a great addition to the squad.

Hertha Berlin

5-3: Wednesday, 31st July

Just about the best player on the park. Scored a lovely goal and looked lively throughout.
Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.