Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Versatile Portuguese Midfielder Red Hot On Wolves’ Radar: Where Can He Fit Into Santo’s Plans?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

After breaking into the top flight last season with a memorable Championship campaign, Wolves are now a club looking to compete with the best teams in the English Premier League next season. Nuno Espirito Santo did a great job with the squad at his disposal but is aware of the additions his side needs, to make a mark in the top flight. This has seen them make a number of signings already this summer, but the latest player linked with a move to the Molineux is Portuguese international Joao Mario.

The 25-year old spent five long years in his home country with Sporting’s senior side, before moving to Italy with Inter Milan in 2016. He scored three goals in all competitions in his first season at the club but managed just one league goal last season, before he was sent out on loan to West Ham United.

Mario was used regularly by David Moyes, who handed him 12 Premier League starts. He registered two goals and an assist in that time and was a part of the Portuguese national side that bowed out of the World Cup in Russia in the Round of 16 recently. He played in every game for his country, has 40 appearances for his national side already and is an established star at the highest level.

He is a playmaker, who can be effective across the attacking line. He can play on either wing, as a no.10 or even in a withdrawn role and this versatility will be a huge asset for the Wolves. The Inter Milan man has the ability to create chances consistently in the final third and in his time in London, showed that he is ready for the challenges in the Premier League. However, he did not do enough for the Hammers to retain him on a permanent move.

However, reports now suggest that Wolves are ready to make him their next signing of this transfer window. Inter Milan are happy to let him leave and have slapped a price tag of £24m, and if Wolves look to bring him to Wolverhampton, they will have to break their transfer record.

Read More: Wolves Lead West Ham United In Race To Sign 25 Y/O Midfielder: Right Fit For Santo’s Plans?

He does have the potential to be a match winner and at just 25, is a long-term option. Santo needs as much depth and quality in his side as possible, to juggle three different competitions and signing Mario makes a lot of sense for them this summer.

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