West Ham have completed the loan signing of Joao Mario from Inter Milan with an option to buy of £39M this summer. Mario was out of favor at Inter just a year and a half after signing for the Italian giants, allowing the Hammers to swoop in and try to get his career back on track.
The 25-year-old will bring many qualities with him to East London, one of the most important ones being the ability to pass the football. Mario is a great passer of the ball, and will slot into center midfield alongside players such as Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang. The Hammers midfield has struggled at keeping possession all season long, and West Ham’s new number 18 will look to bring those struggles to a halt.
Mario is also a very smart, crafty dribbler. The Portuguese midfielder isn’t the fastest player in the world, and doesn’t have quick feet like Masuaku, but he knows how to beat his man. Thanks to Mario’s ability to dribble and pass well, he’ll offer West Ham another option in attack, driving from deeper in the midfield. Portugal’s number 10 is also capable of filling into Manuel Lanzini’s role whilst the Argentinian is out injured.
Joao Mario is just the first of multiple signings the Hammers must make to improve a midfield which has been lackluster all season long. Mario will be a big help for West Ham, but if Moyes and the Board are serious about improving the squad this window, Mario won’t be the last midfielder brought in.