The loss in the Europa League final at the end of the last season taught Jürgen Klopp a very harsh lesson on how much of a work he still has left to do at Liverpool before getting the glory days back to Anfield. He has however, started stamping his authority on the squad having bought in a number of players and is also letting go of squad players who will not have much work to do at the club next season. One of the most recent stories surrounding the club was that a £33.5million bid for Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario was rejected by Sporting Lisbon. It is revealed that the player is valued close to £50million after his exploits in the EURO 16 victory with Portugal and will only leave the club if his valuation is met. So is the 23-year old a good addition to Anfield?
Born in Porto, Joao Mario is from one of the best football academies in the country as he joined the youth system of Sporting at the age of 11. Ever since, he has earned himself a name as an exciting midfielder and is slowly proving to be one. He has played at every level with his country and has made 18 senior appearances with Portugal, the EURO 16 victory being his best moment. He was lively in the midfield for Fernando Santos’ side in France and has now attracted interests from many clubs in Europe.
Known for his technical ability on the ball, Mario is a player who loves to control the game in the midfield. He likes to dominate the game with the ball at his feet while his magnificent control, accurate distribution and faultless decision making make him one of the most exciting midfielders in Europe at the moment. He is known for supplying that path-breaking ball every once in a while and on his day, he can just tear defenses apart. He loves to set his teammates on goal but also has decent finishing abilities that fetched him 5 goals last season and if can maintain the form, he will soon be a top class player across Europe.
For a midfielder, Mario scored decent number of goals every season but playing against tough opponents, he has often not been able to find the back of the net. He is a cool finisher but with the number of chances that fall to him, his numbers should be better. At just 23, the Portugal international has already proven to be a world class player and if he can add more to his armory, he will only make himself a better player.
Having made 27 appearances in the Primeira Liga last season, Mario has established himself as a first choice at the club. He will be the player at the middle of most things happening at the club next season but his exploits with the national team has seen a number of clubs scout for his this summer. Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are looking to bolster their midfield and a step up in quality will always be good for the player’s growth. Mario is a top class player with loads of potential and he will have to decide between playing at home and playing at one of the big clubs in Europe (with obvious monetary advantages).
At just 23, Mario has already caught the imagination of many fans with his recent performances. He is already a player who is a star and there are clubs who are looking to snatch him up early in his career for insane amounts. But with these price tags come great expectations as the midfielder will be expected to improve the whole squad wherever he moves. Staying in Portugal may not be advisable for his growth but Mario will find it hard to prove himself if he makes the rumored £50m move to a Premier League club.