It was announced this afternoon that we have signed Inter Milan’s Joao Mario on a loan deal… and just like that, my faith in the transfer window has been restored.
The start of the transfer window didn’t look too positive, but this signing certainly has me looking forward to what the rest of the transfer window may hold.
So why am I so excited about this 25-year-old signing?
First, we’ve got a bargain. Having signed for Inter from Sporting Lisbon for £35million in August 2016, we have somehow agreed a £1million loan deal with a view to a £26million transfer at the end of the season. This trial period will enable him to prove whether he’s got what it takes to make it in the Premier League, and determine how he fits into the squad.
Secondly, and typically West Ham-ly… Fonte is said to have had some influence in his decision to make the move. I love me a bit of West Ham banter.
Anyway, the 25-year-old struggled to make an impact at Inter, potentially due to the managerial merry-go-round, but has proven himself to be a creative player. Aside from Arnautovic and Lanzini, West Ham have shown a lack of exciting gameplay recently, and this aspect of Mario’s game could certainly improve the rest of the squad. Much like (apologies for swearing) Payet managed to bring so many players into the game, this could be our opportunity to create that beautiful link up play again.
He can set up goals and score, as well as dribbling, and defending reasonably well. He doesn’t tend to dive in and let the ball get away from him which is another positive attribute and something which would benefit us massively at the moment.
Joao could also be the key to unlocking Chicharito’s potential and leaving him less isolated. We currently have a gaping hole in midfield which allows us to concede easily, putting too much pressure on defenders when in reality, there should be at least some sort of challenge to break through a team’s midfield.
Last, but not least, there’s everything to play for as Mario looks to prove himself as a possibility for World Cup selection. He said: “It was a fast move. I have spoken with everyone around the team and, for me, it is exciting to play in the Premier League. It’s a really historic club with an amazing stadium and amazing players.”
Having already been named in the squad, it’s looking likely we will see Mario’s debut against Wigan later today or Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, so here’s hoping for an impressive debut!