In Focus: West Ham making a big statement with Joao Mario addition

According to reports in The Telegraph, West Ham United will complete the signing of Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario on Thursday on loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer, which Sky Sports report would be worth £26m.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Irons boss David Moyes has been keen to strengthen his midfield options this month and an injury to Manuel Lanzini has only heightened that search.

The Telegraph reports that the Portugal international is due to fly into London today to finalise the deal, with Moyes keen to add more faces before the January transfer window slams shut on Wednesday.

The report adds that the move is seen as something of a coup for the east London outfit, with the Euro 2016 winner choosing to join them despite having other offers on the table.

How has Joao Mario done this season?

Despite joining Inter in a £36m deal in 2016, the 25-year-old has never really had a consistent run in the Serie A giants’ team, and it has been no different so far this term.

The Portuguese midfielder, who can play as a central or attacking midfielder, has made 15 appearances in all competitions, although more than half of his 14 Italian top flight outings came from the substitutes’ bench.

According to WhoScored.com, his main strengths are his dribbling and ability to make key passes, and he has successfully completed 10 of the 14 take-ons he has attempted in those 14 Serie A games, while he has made 17 key passes and has a passing accuracy of 89.4%.

Will he be a good signing for West Ham?

He certainly could be, yes.

While he has struggled with Inter, the 25-year-old continues to be a regular and impressive performer for his country, and he impressed for Sporting Lisbon prior to his move to the San Siro – he scored 14 goals and provided a further 18 assists in 93 matches for the Portuguese outfit.

Joao Mario will bring some quality to the centre of the park for the Irons, and it will be interesting to see where he lines up – he is likely to cover for the injured Manuel Lanzini in the short-term.