According to Daily Mail, Everton are in with an opportunity to sign Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario this summer. The Portuguese international worked with Marco Silva during their together at Sporting CP and a reunion could be on the horizon. The report claims Everton may have to fork out a fee in the region of £15 million for the services of Mario. But, the Toffees could face stiff competition from FC Porto and AS Monaco.
Joao Mario’s struggle at Inter
Life has been difficult for Mario since his move to Inter Milan in 2016. The 26-year-old has mostly been a fringe player at San Siro, making only 69 appearances for the club. His three-year stint with the Nerazzurri also included a short loan spell at West Ham. But, that too ended in disappointment.
This season, Mario has mustered just over 1,000 minutes of Serie A football, during which he scored one goal and provided three assists. Hence, the former Sporting midfielder will be keen for a move away from Inter this summer.
What can Mario add to the table for Everton?
Mario was one of the stars in Portugal’s European Championship-winning campaign in 2016. His versatility and industry in the middle of park propelled his country to their first ever triumph at the Euros. Indeed, he can operate anywhere in midfield and has played down various roles throughout his career. The 26-year-old was even used as a secondary striker during his time with Sporting.
Usually a central midfielder, Mario tends to drive forward and help his teammates in the final third. The Portuguese international averaged 1.5 key passes as well as almost two dribbles per 90 minutes this term. This is indicative of his ability to act as a ball-carrier and ease his team’s transition from midfield to attack.
Should Everton sign Mario next season?
Signing Mario wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Toffees. The 26-year-old has the quality to add more steel to the Everton midfield that has lacked depth this season. And if we consider the potential transfer of Andre Gomes to Tottenham Hotspur, the addition of someone like Mario could be essential.
Mario’s previous exposure in the Premier League coupled with his relationship with the manager Silva could make it easier for him to settle into his new club. Also, Mario’s meagre valuation of just £15m makes him a cheaper option considering the current inflation in the market.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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