Saturday, December 3, 2022

West Ham United Playmaker Is Still On Napoli’s Radar: Should The Hammers Sanction His Departure?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Corriere dello Sport, West Ham United playmaker Pablo Fornals is still on Napoli’s radar ahead of the summer transfer window. The same source has also stated that the Naples-based outfit regret missing out on the Spanish attacker in the past and would be interested in acquiring his services if they get a chance in this off-season.

Fornals’ Up And Down Season At The London Stadium

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a decent debut season at the London Stadium after making a high-profile switch from Villarreal last summer. He has produced some eye-catching displays at the English capital but has sometimes struggled to find consistency with his performances on the pitch.

Fornals has banged in three goals and provided five assists in 30 matches for the Hammers this term across all fronts. His excellent attacking contributions helped David Moyes’ side keep their heads above the relegation zone before the football world came to a standstill because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The Spaniard has averaged 1.3 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 1.1 shots and 0.6 key passes in every 90 minutes of Premier League football this season (stats via whoscored) which showcases just how important he has been for the Hammers this season.

Fornals has also earned two senior caps for the Spanish national team. Maybe a change of scenery this summer could provide the West Ham playmaker with a bigger platform to showcase his skills and earn a place in Luis Enrique’s squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

West Ham playmaker Fornals, who is seen in the picture, is still on Napoli's radar
Pablo Fornals of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United at American Express Community Stadium on August 17, 2019, in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

What Does The Two-Time Spanish International Bring To The Table?

Fornals is a technically-gifted footballer who can pass the ball accurately and has the vision to create some decent goal-scoring openings in the final third. He showcases outstanding ball control and is a composed dribbler in the opposition half. He is usually quite lethal from long range. The Spanish midfielder is also not shy of working hard both with and without the ball making him a constant menace for the opposition.

Should Moyes Sanction Fornals’ Departure This Summer?

West Ham cannot afford to lose a player of Fornals’ quality and work ethic if they are to retain their top-flight status in the coming seasons. Moyes needs more fighters like Fornals in his squad so that he can lay down a strong foundation and build a successful team in the future. Therefore, as it stands, the Hammers will be better of not sanctioning the Spaniard’s departure this summer as they might find it difficult to replace someone like him under the economic conditions of the current transfer market which has been strongly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Moyes should consider making an effort to convince Fornals to stay at the London Stadium beyond this summer as he is about to embark upon the prime years of his football career which suggests that he will only get better with each season. Plus, another solid campaign in English football could see Fornals’ market value skyrocket, so it makes sense for the Hammers to retain his services for now.

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