The Independent’s Jack Rathborn was very wrong in his prediction about West Ham United’s Pablo Fornals, in their 2019/20 season preview.
At the beginning of each season, journalists and fans across the country offer their predictions about how they expect the Premier League season to play out.
That was no different this time around, and while the current Premier League suspension will not have been envisioned by anyone before the campaign begun, there were many other, more reasonable categories in which predictions were made.
One of those for The Independent was signing of the season, for which sports reporter Rathborn replied: “Pablo Fornals, will add real quality to West Ham’s midfield.”
Their northern football correspondent Mark Critchley added: “I imagine Rodri’s going to receive a lot of plaudits, but a slightly less obvious choice would be West Ham’s Pablo Fornals.”
While Fornals definitely shouldn’t be written off, he certainly has not been the signing of the season when looking at his impact so far.
Having joined from Villarreal, he has made 15 starts and 12 substitute appearances in the Premier League, recording two goals and five assists so far.
Life in England started very slowly for the 24-year-old and he has had his low points, failing to manage a single goal contribution in his first 12 league games as well as being left out of the matchday squad altogether for the defeat to Manchester City last month.
There are definitely signs that he can be a success at West Ham though, as he provided two assists against Southampton and also scored in the 3-2 loss against Liverpool, having come off the bench at Anfield.
With this in mind, it is not necessarily his fault that he is nowhere near being signing of the season, as highlighted by the fact that he has started just four of the 10 league games played since David Moyes took over at London Stadium.
The Spaniard can go on to be a success at West Ham, but he is far from the Premier League signing of the season.