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Fornals, to the Cockney boys

Filed: Monday, 17th June 2019
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini believes that his latest acquisition will bring "a different dimension" to West Ham's play next season.

Pablo Fornals became the club's second most expensive transfer last week when he moved from Villareal in a £24million switch - a fee only exceeded by the deal that saw Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson arrive in London via Lazio last summer.

And Pellegrini - who insisted he was "very pleased" to complete the deal - confirmed that he had been tracking the player for some considerable time.

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"I look forward to welcoming Pablo to the club when he returns from international duty next month," Pellegrini told West Ham's website. "He was a key target we identified some time ago and it is a big positive that we have managed to complete the deal early in the transfer window.

"Pablo is a young, hungry and talented player who has already proven his ability at the highest level in Spain. We believe he will bring a different dimension and a strong mentality to the team.

"He has made a big impact in his time with Villarreal and we look forward to seeing him continue his progress here.

"His signing means that we now have very good midfield options in the squad. With players coming back from injury and ready to begin pre-season training with the rest of the squad, we have a very good balance and mix of styles.

"I am sure our supporters will give him a very warm welcome when he begins what we hope will be a long and successful career at West Ham United."

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Fornals is scheduled to team up with his new squad when Spain's European Under-21 Championship campaign is completed.

The Spanish opened their campaign against hosts Italy at the Renato Dall'Ara last night with a 3-1 defeat, despite taking an early lead through Dani Ceballos - another promising youngster who has been watched by West Ham.

Fornals featured for just 23 minutes having entered the fray as a 67th minute substitute for Real Sociedad's Igor Zubeldia with the score a 2-1, but was unable to prevent Italy adding a third ewight minutes from time through the aptly named Lorenzo Pellegrini.

The Spanish now need to produce results again Belgium and Poland in order to qualify for the next phase of the tournament, which runs until 30 June.

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