New West Ham signing Pablo Fornals has hailed manager Manuel Pellegrini as "one of the best coaches in the world" following his arrival from Villarreal.
The midfielder arrived at the London Stadium on Friday for reported fee of £24 million ($30m), becoming the Hammers’ third summer signing after the additions of goalkeeping duo Roberto and David Martin.
The 23-year-old, who was on the books as a youth player at Malaga when Pellegrini managed the club’s first-team, was keen to lavish praise upon his new boss.
“Obviously, of course Manuel was a big influence because in the end he is one of the best coaches in the world,” he told the club’s official website.
“Who doesn’t like to work with people like that?
“I have worked more with Mario [Husillos], I know him from when I was in Malaga. With Manuel I saw him and admired him on TV.”
The 65-year-old even saw a roundabout named in his honour in Malaga city centre in October 2018.
Fornals did not make a first-team appearance during Pellegrini’s tenure with Los Boquerones, only making his debut in September 2015 against Real Madrid.
The midfielder, who scored five goals in 50 appearances across all competitions for Villarreal last season, went on to reveal his excitement at playing in the opinion-splitting London Stadium, saying: “I knew about the fans, and about the stadium, which is beautiful.
“The fans fill every weekend a stadium that can fit 60,000 people and I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.
“Every match for me is going to be new, every team is going to be different. I've never played against any team [in England] so for that reason I’m really motivated and with the ambition to win as most matches as possible.”