Why Signing Joao Mario Is A Statement Of Intent From West Ham United
The bottom of the Premier League is making quite a lot of fans of mid-table clubs very nervous. For example, West Ham currently sit 11th, but only 4 points off the relegation zone, never before has the bottom half been so tight with such high stakes. With that in mind, it is also a terrible time for West Ham to lose two of their best players in Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic to injuries, especially when the manager has developed a system to get the best out of those two players.
To make matters worse for the Hammers, their backup players – Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio are also on the sidelines. The situation for West Ham is dire, and although there are a lot of teams below them at the moment, if they do not improve quickly, they will find themselves back in trouble.
The arrival of Inter Milan star Joao Mario would change the landscape for the East London team, he is a player with true pedigree and has the ability to change the game. He is probably a direct replacement for the injured Lanzini and could slot straight into the West Ham team, giving David Moyes the ability to not completely change his style and hopefully keep the team playing well until his two important players return.
Until very recently, Inter were having a fantastic season in Serie A. With their new Chinese owners they have been able to attract higher quality players and at one point, it seemed like they were returning to the top table of Italian football. Before the international break, they were seen as big challengers to Juventus in the league but that challenge has fallen away and they see themselves battling with Lazio, Roma and AC Milan for the Champions League positions.
Although they have new owners with money to spend, they still needed to balance the books in order to stay on the right side of Financial Fair Play rules. Sending out a player like Joao Mario who has only played 540 minutes for the Nerazzurri makes sense, especially since it is only a loan move.
For West Ham, this move signals a return to form, and although they have had bad luck with big signings recently, a loan signing like Joao Mario may bring them the stability they need to stay in the Premier League, at minimum expenditure.