[Image] How West Ham could line up with their January signing in the team, amidst injury crisis

Joao Mario

How West Ham Can Line Up With Joao Mario In The Team

West Ham United have signed Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario on loan for the season. The Hammers currently face an immense shortage of attacking options and David Moyes will be hoping that the Portuguese international hits the ground running. At present, the Hammers are in 11th place in the points table and things have most certainly improved for them ever since the Scottish manager took charge.

However, with the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio, Andy Caroll and Diafra Sakho out with injuries, Moyes has very limited options in hand. Hence, the move to sign Mario is quite understandable. After teetering on the brink of relegation for quite some time, Moyes has managed to bring them back to safety but they will need to continue doing well if they are to truly end the season on a strong note.

Mario is essentially a central midfielder but in the few starts that he received this season with Inter, the player was utilised as an attacking midfielder. He also played on the right wing on one occasion, which is good news for Moyes. In their previous league game against Bournemouth, the Hammers were out in a 3-4-3 formation. Arnautovic played as the central striker with Lanzini and Kouyate on either wing.

However, with injuries threatening to derail their performances, Moyes might revert to using a 3-5-2 formation. Right now, Javier Hernandez seems like the best option to lead the line and Mario can be utilised as an attacking midfielder or as a secondary striker right behind Chicharito.

This might be an unorthodox way to line up but at present, it seems like the best bet for the Hammers. Cheikhou Kouyate struggled a bit when he played out of position against Bournemouth, which could be another reason for Moyes to switch to a 3-5-2.

Moreover, the likes of Arthur Masuaku and Pablo Zabaleta are usually deployed in an attack-oriented role by Moyes and they can provide ample energy on either flank to make some well-timed attacks. With that said, a lot will also depend on how quickly Mario would be able to adapt to the Premier League and put in some match-winning performances.

His current season has not been all that impressive due to a lack of opportunities but he will play a starring role for West Ham now. With the World Cup ahead, he will be motivated to do a lot better.

Written by Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan.
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