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Pablo Fornals: West Ham’s zero-to-hero under David Moyes

At one stage, Pablo Fornals was West Ham United’s second-most expensive player in the club’s history at £24m, so he arrived in east London in June 2019 with bags of expectation.

His debut campaign was quite disappointing, however, as the Spaniard finished as their worst-performing player with a 6.48 average WhoScored rating, the lowest of anyone to start ten or more league games.

This wasn’t completely his fault, though, as then-manager Manuel Pellegrini deployed him in a multitude of positions, often outside of his comfort zone, having featured on both flanks, in the no.10, and in a deeper midfield role.

Fornals struggled for consistency. He was seemingly in and out of the side after making ten of his 34 league appearances from the bench, and it took until the Chilean’s final game for him to score his first goal for the club.

However, everything changed when David Moyes was appointed at the London Stadium for the second time.

How do you rate Pablo Fornals' season out of ten?

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The £18m-rated dynamo has really gone from zero to hero under the Scotsman as he continues to play a pivotal, and underrated, role in the Hammers’ recent rise to stardom.

As per Transfermarkt, 71 of his 91 appearances at the club have been with Moyes in the dugout, in which he has delivered 11 goals and eight assists.

Last season, Fornals’ average rating increased to 6.78 as West Ham went from relegation contenders to Europa League qualification and the attacking maestro played his part with five goals and four assists.

But it is this season that the former Villarreal star has come on leaps and bounds, starting all ten of their Premier League outings so far. As a result, he’s brought home his best average rating of 7.03, which sees him rank sixth in the current squad.

Only Michail Antonio (six goals) has found the net more often than Fornals (three), whilst he’s proven to be an influential figure at either end of the pitch, ranking second for creativity (1.7 key passes per game), on top of 1.9 shots per game, too.

Elsewhere, Fornals has managed to register 1.7 tackles per game, which is better than the likes of Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell, via WhoScored.

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Irons legend Trevor Sinclair recently spoke about the Spain international and compared him to that of Spurs’ Giovani Lo Celso.

“I look at Lo Celso and I think what player is he similar to? He’s a very similar player to Fornals,” he told talkSPORT [November 1st, 9:50am].

Sinclair added: “Because West Ham have had that consistency with the manager – with the coaching staff working on that player, Fornals’ rise has been incredible. Lo Celso has stood still (or) gone backwards.

“Two players who were on level pegging – one of them is absolutely flying and the other one’s gone backwards. Look at what Pablo Fornals is doing now at West Ham. He’s done unbelievable.”

Moyes deserves plenty of credit for transforming players like Fornals, as the 25-year-old has been an essential part of the Irons’ monumental rise during the past 18 months.

AND in other news, ExWHUemployee drops promising contract claim on Ben Johnson

Article title: Pablo Fornals: West Ham’s zero-to-hero under David Moyes

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