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Joao Mario Completes Loan Move to West Ham from Inter Milan Until End of Season

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2018

MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 03:  Joao Mario of FC Internazionale Milano looks on during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 3, 2017 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

West Ham United have completed the signing of Joao Mario on loan from Inter Milan for the remainder of the season.

News the transfer had gone through came via the Hammers' official website on Friday. The club also released this short video:

The move could spell the end of the midfielder's career at the San Siro, having arrived for around £38 million in the summer of 2016. 

The former Sporting CP man moved to Inter having excelled in Lisbon and performed brilliantly in the UEFA European Championship, in which Portugal marched to glory. However, he failed to show his best with the Nerazzurri.

This term he's fallen further down the pecking order under Luciano Spalletti, starting just five Serie A games.

Sam Tighe believes it's crucial the 25-year-old gets minutes ahead of the FIFA World Cup in the summer:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

@samgravesbro Mario needs minutes ahead of World Cup, West Ham need a CM. I really like Mario, hasn’t quite risen as expected, but boy can he be effective. Excellent for all parties I’d say.

He'll also be keen to remind the football world what a talented player he is, as Mario was considered one of Europe's rising stars during his time at Sporting.

Mario helped Portugal to glory in 2016.
Mario helped Portugal to glory in 2016.VALERY HACHE/Getty Images

Indeed, Mario was outstanding in Portugal's top flight, showcasing quality in possession, versatility and a tremendous work ethic. Those traits were there for all to see on the international stage in 2016, when his brilliant work on the flanks gave his country an edge.

When he has got on the field this season, the midfielder has still been conjuring chances for his team-mates, as noted by WhoScored.com:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Joao Mario: Of those to play 500+ minutes, only Gaston Ramirez (every 166.8 mins) is registering an assist more frequently than @joaome17 (every 182.7 minutes) in Serie A this season Full player stats -- https://t.co/rl0kLjPDZz https://t.co/1d1ol3oo6J

For West Ham, this will be deemed a coup, especially considering the club is in a battle to stay afloat in the Premier League still. The Hammers are in 11th place, yet only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Manager David Moyes will be hopeful that Mario gives West Ham some vital composure in the final third, as he has the quality to knit attacks together. Should he link up with Manuel Lanzini and a rejuvenated Marko Arnautovic, then the Hammers will be a potent attacking force.  

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