West Ham’s Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals has received his first senior international call-up for three years after a coronavirus case was discovered in the Spanish training camp.
The Spanish national team’s preparation for Euro 2020 was thrown into disarray on Sunday afternoon after captain Sergio Busquests returned a positive covid-19 test.
As a result, the entire first-team squad has been placed into isolation, along with the coaching staff, and will have to train alone ahead of their opening European Championship match with Sweden on Monday, June 14.
Fornals is one of six players to have been called up to the Spanish standby list to train in a “parallel bubble” away from the 24-man Euro squad.
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The 25-year-old did not make the original squad picked by boss Luis Enrique but is ready to step into the set-up should any Spanish player have to drop out of the squad for covid or injury reasons.
Fornals joins Leeds forward Rodrigo Moreno, Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, Celta Vigo winger Brais Mendez, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Villarreal defender Raul Albiol in the parallel bubble.
Former Leeds and Spain midfielder Pablo Hernandez has told Spanish radio that Fornals merits his call up following his fantastic season at West Ham.
“He has gained a lot of experience in English football, he is an important player, he has had a very good season and he deserves this call from Luis Enrique,” he told Radio Marca.
“As a countryman and friend, I am very happy for him.”
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Fornals has two Spanish caps to his name but has not represented his country since 2018 when he came off the bench to play the final 26 minutes of a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Should the Hammer get the call up to the final squad he could come across a West Ham teammate in the group stages when Spain take on Lukasz Fabianski’s Poland in their second match of the tournament.