West Ham have confirmed the signing of Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals on a five year contract, with the option for an extra year.

The Hammers’ announcement doesn’t confirm a price, but does reveal that the Spain international is the club’s second most expensive signing ever – behind Felipe Anderson.

The 23-year-old is a creative midfielder who excelled in both La Liga and the Europa League last season, getting five goals and six assists across the two competitions.

His strengths are listed as through balls, key passes, dribbling and blocking the ball on his WhoScored profile.

Fornals is someone Mario Husillos was very keen to sign, with the two having worked together at Malaga in the past.

As well as impressing for Villarreal, Fornals has also done well for his country at Under 21 and first team level: he has 12 caps for the U21s and two senior ones.

He should be adding to his caps tally soon, as he will be competing in the U21 Euros for Spain, with West Ham fans’ first chance to get a glimpse of what he can do coming on Sunday – when he will face Italy.

This is an incredibly exciting move for the Hammers and one which reiterates Manuel Pellegrini’s desire to play slick attacking football.