When West Ham splashed out £24 million on Spanish playmaker Pablo Fornals, plenty of heads were turned and not just Hammers fans either.
After producing a number of eye-catching performances for Villarreal last season, where he turned provider six times and scored five times himself, Manuel Pellegrini saw fit to pay big bucks for yet another creative midfielder.
With mouth-watering creative options of Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko already, Pablo Fornals would only bolster a significant West Ham attacking threat.
And when he played in the U21 European Championships for Spain, a tournament they won, Fornals scored twice in five matches.
Excitement was only building. But Fornals had to make do with being on the bench for the first game of the season against Manchester City.
Whilst showing glimpses of quality when coming on at the break, Fornals couldn’t do anything about the onslaught and West Ham were severally punished by the Premier League champions.
He played 77 minutes against Brighton and again in parts, showed what he is capable of with some neat play.
But as of yet, he hasn’t taken the league by the scruff of the neck.
Compared to his showings in the U21 European Championships, Fornals has been way off his usual high standards, supported by WhoScored.
Pablo Fornals managed a passing success rate of 88.1% with Spain, whilst he has only managed 77.1% with West Ham thus far.
Spain are renownd for their neat, intricate passing but Fornals has to make things happen at club level too.
Interestingly, his role in games has completely changed. During the Championships, Fornals averaged 2.4 shots a game, whereas he has completed just 0.5 in claret and blue.
Instead, more focus is on his defensive game – producing 1.5 tackles per game compared with 1.2 for Spain.
Academic studies prove that it takes time for players joining the Premier League to get used to the game here in England.
West Ham fans can’t expect brilliance straight away like they had with Dimitri Payet but Fornals’ goal and performance against Newport County was definitely an encouraging sign.
Playing with a £24 million price-tag comes with plenty of responsibility but with creative passes, neat flicks and intelligent runs, West Ham fans should have already seen enough from Fornals to know that eventually, he will come good.