The Chalkboard: How Lanzini and Pablo Fornals could fit into same West Ham team

After Morgan Sanson in the last week, Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals has become the latest central attacking midfielder linked with a move to West Ham United.

The club are reportedly closing in on a transfer for the £31m former Spain international, a historical favourite of manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The Hammers expect to have made progress on this and other signings within the next seven to ten days as they look to get their business done nice and early ahead of the end of the summer transfer window in August.

With multiple players who ply their trade in the number ten position already linked, one would naturally fear for the future of the Irons’ “Jewel”, Manuel Lanzini.

Since he arrived in east London in the summer of 2015, he’s been virtually unchallenged in the role of playing off the strikers in the hole, when fit that is.

But having been linked with a transfer himself this window away from London Stadium with only a year left on his current contract, certain signs point to his exit in the next couple of months.

However, as we’re going to prove today, the arrival of Fornals doesn’t have to be bad news for Lanzini as the pair can both fit into the same West Ham team to give Pellegrini a sure supply line of goals through the middle.

As you can see in the above line-up graphic a change of formation would be needed for Pellegrini but it is a possible and attractive prospect with Lanzini and Fornals in the starting Xl alongside one and other.

The Chilean could stick with a back four with just the one holding midfielder in Declan Rice, who would then be the captain, protecting the defence on his own.

This would mean dropping club captain Mark Noble, but it would be a necessary evil of having such a creative core and giving his team the best chance of not being outscored by the likes of Bournemouth again.

Fornals and Lanzini would take up central positions behind a lone striker with wingers either side of them, and the licence to go wherever they want to go in the final third. That said, they will also obviously need to do their defensive duties on occasions, too.

This double dosage of creativity would undoubtedly be too much for most Premier League midfields and defences to handle next season.

Article title: The Chalkboard: How Lanzini and Pablo Fornals could fit into same West Ham team

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