Why Wolves signing Joao Mario could be a huge statement of intent
Mario, 25, spent the latter part of last season on loan at West Ham and the Portuguese playmaker has spoken about the desire to leave the Serie A club. He helped West Ham avoid relegation this past season, scoring 2 goals and assisting once in 14 appearances.
After stating his desire to not return back to Inter, Mario, who recently featured for Portugal in the World Cup, has attracted interest from Wolves. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men dominated the Championship throughout the 2017/18 season, staying at the top of the table for the majority of the season. Eventually, they went onto win the Championship with a staggering 99 points on the table.
Now that Wolves have achieved promotion to the Premier League after being absent from the English top-flight since 2012, manager Nuno Espirito Santo needs to make sure his squad is of Premier League quality.
So far, Wolves have made some exciting signings, with the likes of Ruben Vinagre and Rui Patricio joining the club permanently, whilst Raul Jimenez coming on a season-long loan from Benfica. A player like Mario would certainly be able to add quality to the Wolves side competing in England’s top-flight for the upcoming season.
Mario’s biggest asset is his versatility. He is a central midfielder by trade but he can also play as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder and on either wing. The Portuguese possesses exceptional technical ability and his wonderful vision combined with a keen eye for a defence-splitting pass would help Wolves improve the effectiveness of their play in the final third.
The 25-year-old is a highly energetic player who can run on the pitch for an entire game without getting tired. Mario is inventive, industrious and is a good passer of the ball as well as a set-piece specialist.
He has played at various youth levels in Portugal and has also represented his national side on a regular basis. The Portuguese has accumulated plenty of experience under his belt and has the exposure of Champions League football too, which will be really handy for the Wolves.
Mario can be a good partner for his Portuguese compatriot Ruben Neves in the middle of the park and the duo can take the Premier League by surprise next season.
Santo’s Wolves have been shrewd with their transfer dealings in the past few seasons and they haven’t been shy in splashing the cash to get their targets.
After scoring just two goals last season for West Ham, it remains to be seen what sort of impact Mario will have on Wolves if he joins them ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.