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Far Cough 9:47 Fri Jan 26
Joao Mario: Signed

West Ham United sign Portugal star Joao Mario on loan

West Ham United are delighted to confirm the signing of Portugal international Joao Mario on loan until the end of the season.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder, who arrives in east London from Italian Serie A club Inter Milan, is a talented and skilful player capable of creating and scoring goals.

Having received international clearance on Friday, he trained with his new teammates and has been named in David Moyes’ squad for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wigan Athletic.

Capped 31 times, Joao Mario appeared in all seven matches as Portugal won UEFA Euro 2016, and the Porto-born star cannot wait to show his worth in a Claret and Blue shirt.

“I am really happy to be here,” said the new No18. “It’s a really amazing experience to join this amazing team and I am just glad to be here.

“It was a fast move. I have spoken with everyone around the team and, for me, it is exciting to play in the Premier League. I spoke with the coach and for me, I am really happy to be training for an amazing coach, also.”

The Hammers’ first January signing revealed that Portugal teammate Jose Fonte had phoned and texted him on more than one occasion, encouraging him to swap Milan for London.

“Jose explained to me a little more about the Club and also the song we have, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles and that, of course, it was really important for me to join West Ham!

“It’s a really historic Club with an amazing stadium and amazing players. I am just trying to know a little bit more about the Club every day and now I have some time to know more.”

Born in Porto, Joao Mario was just eleven when he moved to Lisbon to join Sporting Lisbon, making his first-team debut in a UEFA Europa League tie against Lazio at 18 in December 2011.

After a season on loan at Vitoria Setubal and another in Sporting’s B team, the midfielder established himself in the first team for the 2014/15 campaign, scoring seven goals and assisting five more in 44 appearances and playing against the likes of Chelsea and Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League.

A senior international debut arrived in France in October 2014, followed by a competitive debut in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Denmark later the same month.

Joao Mario’s 2015/16 season was even more impressive, as he chalked up eleven assists and six goals as Sporting went within two points of winning their first Portuguese championship since 2002.

November 2015 also saw him become a regular for Portugal, featuring in all seven Euro 2016 warm-up matches. He then started six of his country’s seven games at the tournament, playing all 120 minutes of the historic victory over France in the final.

Those performances saw Inter Milan pay a reported £38.4m to take him to Milan, making him the most expensive Portuguese player ever sold by a Portuguese club.

After featuring 33 times last season, Joao Mario has featured 14 times in Serie A this season, recording five assists, and will now bring his creative flair to the Premier League.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

One McAvennieeeeee 11:08 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
" Everyone wants to be a Don Howe these days. "

Hahaha that is so true.

Ooohhh look how INNOVATIVE I am.

Private Dancer 11:03 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
When there is 10 games left and we are 3 points off the bottom 3 is there really time to try to bed someone new in. Is he good enough or not? Yes or fucking no? Everyone wants to be a Don Howe these days.

Russ of the BML 10:27 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Alex V 9:08 Tue Feb 27

He will get more space and time in a more withdrawn role. So that may be an idea for him to get his confidence up and start to understand the tempo of the English game.

One McAvennieeeeee 9:30 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
I don't think a flat back 8 will see us get the best out of him.

Darby_ 9:20 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Pointless writing him off before the end of the season. Continental players often take a while to adjust to the English game, plus he’s probably been out of form, otherwise he’d still be playing for Inter instead of for us.

Private Dancer 9:13 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Or why not just keep it a lot more simple. Is he a good player? is he a player that is going to improve us?

Alex V 9:08 Tue Feb 27
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
I'd like to see him in a more withdrawn CM role, I thought that was what we were bringing him in to play. As a forward he is all-finesse but little threat, whereas alongside Kouyate and Noble he could bring a bit more composure and guile to the centre mid.

Eerie Descent 11:41 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed

I'd still pick him ahead of Kouyate though. Every day of the week.

HairyHammer 7:23 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
If he ever becomes good and starts to look influential to the team, he will leave us quicker than we can say Super Mario.

Stubbo 7:02 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
He'll still be adapting to the fact he gets less time on the ball to pick a pass and the tackling is more robust (both of which will impact a player of his type).

If his speed of thought and robustness adapt by the end of the season suspect he'll be showing himself more than worthy.

His known weakness is his finishing though so we shouldnt be expecting much more than key passes/assists from him, and he'll need good intelligent movement around him to be effective.

Alex V 6:55 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Yep - tidy, efficient, intelligent, measured. His touch is clearly the best in the squad. A good team player in the right side, but probably not a match-winner.

Russ of the BML 12:52 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
I think he's a very good player. But he is very reliant on the players around him. He isn't going to go flying into tackles and upset another teams tempo by getting in their face, chasing, harrying and just being general a pain in the arse.

But on the ball he is very tidy. Positive. Looks to go forward and play on the front foot. But he needs people around who are going to cover ground and get him the ball.

That's where we are lacking.

Willtell 11:02 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
He probably could be good but he's a stroller. That was fine in Portugal I guess? Clearly it doesn't work so well in the more combative leagues like Italy and England so either he bucks his ideas up tout suite or, he will be another loan that we never see again....

DukeofDevo 12:31 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
He’s got to put in a match winning performance against Swansea

We have to get lots of points from the next 5 games

arsegrapes 12:28 Mon Feb 26
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
After his initial games where he looked the real deal, Sullivan has told Moyes there is no way we will buy him unless he is around £15m. So Moyes has pulled him to one side and told him to play crap for the rest of the season so we can try to get him on the cheap. Will rip up the Championship next year.

stepney hammer 9:57 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Tidy player, does the basics well, not a 40m player by any stretch. Not even half that.

Whilst I have little faith in the owners to do anything other than go for the cheap option in the transfer market (and not much more faith in the manager given that he signed Hugill and wanted Arter) I'd hope we'd aim for better. I won't hold my breath though.

Full Claret Jacket 8:44 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
He's tidy enough as a player. He was brought in as we wanted some players who were more comfortable on the ball and are better at passing it.

Technically he's pretty good and he has definitely been putting in a shift in the games I've seen. Just not the midfield destroyer some of you are desperate for.
I think he would get better if he played in the Premier League longer and we had a more consistent system and players.

Certainly wouldn't write him off or be overly critical.

gph 8:17 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
I agree it's too early, but the trees remain unripped up.

Kaiser Zoso 7:42 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
I can’t agree with this negative narrative.

He’s in a team that’s shit, in a league he’s not played in before.

Kouyate is shit, and so is Obiang. We should be outing these imposters and getting more of the likes of Mario in, to help support ball players with technique.

If he cost 40 million, so what. We’ve got a 57,000 sell out, it’s about time we got ahead of the curve and started building something

chim chim cha boo 7:38 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Everyone made their minds up about him already then? After all, he's had two games in a league he's tying to get the rhythm of.

Anyway, don't get too used to him - there's fuck all way those tight cunts will pay what he's worth even if he turns out to be the new Ronaldo.

Texas Iron 7:30 Sun Feb 25
Re: Joao Mario: Signed
Never worth 40million Euros...
Some good control...occasional quality pas...but not much else...and not quick enough...so far...

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