Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole both seemed excited at the prospect of West Ham summer signing Pablo Fornals but both implied it could be a while before Hammers fans see the best of him.
The two former Hammers discussed the Spanish playmaker ahead of the 5-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday with Ferdinand getting the ball rolling.
The retired centre-back shared he believes Fornals had got the technique, had got the ability and that it was all just about him putting it together.
Ferdinand added that just like Cole mentioned earlier in BT’s show, Fornals was the type of player who may only show glimpses of his talent as usually his sort take up to six months or a year to “get into it.”
“West Ham have always loved players that have given them that little bit of imagination, that bit of area where you think what is he going to do next, before creating a little bit of magic,” said Ferdinand on BT Sport 1 (Saturday, August 10th, 12:14).
“He’s got that little bit of disguise, he is someone who likes to try things in the final third, and West Ham fans always love… look at that lovely pass with the outside of the boot (clip played), he gots the ability, he’s got the technique, he’s just got to put it together and it’s difficult.
“Sometimes, Joe (Cole) said it earlier, sometimes these type of players take six months to a year to get into it, they show glimpses and hopefully he shows enough glimpses to get the fans on his side.”
Cole then took his turn to speak on Fornals and shared that he thought the Spaniard looked like a West Ham player who fans would be excited to watch.
“He is a West Ham player, he looks so comfortable on the ball, he moves, he shifts left foot to right foot,” stated Cole.
“And he is one of them who fans will be excited to watch, again the squad is loaded with those type of players now.”
Fornals played 45 minutes of the Hammers’ clash with Man City, he replaced Michail Antonio and didn’t really even show little glimpses of what he could do, he averaged a rating of 5.90 (Source: WhoScored), but arguably he didn’t see enough of the ball for him to be fairly judged.
The 23-year-old only made 13 passes, one cross and three tackles, though did win 67% of those, and lost his one and an only aerial battle of the game. (Source: Premier League)
However, based on his previous form in Spain, Cole and Ferdinand are right to suggest Hammers fans will end up being excited by him.
The 23-year-old scored 12, while assisting 18, in the 129 La Liga appearances he made in his career, and he wowed at the U-21’s European Championship for Spain where he averaged a rating of 7.62 while scoring twice and assisting one goal across his outings. (Source: WhoScored)
Yet they’re also right to suggest that excitement should be bottled over Fornals as he could take time to adjust to the Premier League.
Ferdinand, who played 504 times in England’s top-flight, and Cole, who racked up 378 Premier League appearances in his career, know what it takes to succeed in the English top-flight, so their opinion should be heeded.