West Ham secured the signing of Joao Mario on Friday evening, with the 25-year-old Inter Milan midfielder adding some extra quality to The Hammers in their bid to remain in the Premier League. Manager David Moyes is hoping to see him hit the ground running too to secure their mid-table position.
Moyes hopes Mario can "hit the ground running"
"My biggest concern is not him as a footballer but getting used to the Premier League, the speed and competitiveness compared to Italy or Portugal," said Moyes. "His ability as a footballer is not in question, he's proved it, and I just hope he can hit the ground running. That's my only concern."
Mario will come to England's top flight with a lot of pressure on his shoulders given West Ham's current injury predicament. Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini, two of the brightest players this season for Moyes' side, are the latest to be sidelined with issues, making the former-Inter midfielder's arrival all the more timely.
January business may well be done and dusted for The Hammers
West Ham have been linked with a midfield signing for a while; a move for Shelvey seemed on the cards while Mohamed El Neny and Francis Coquelin were other potential suitors. Yet, with Joao Mario now making the switch, Moyes' transfer business may well be done.
"At the moment I can't say there is any guarantee there will be anybody else coming," Moyes continued.
"It's really difficult. Behind the scenes we have tried for two or three players and most of it is getting knocked back," he admitted.
West Ham currently sit 11th in the table, hoping to remain out of the relegation scrap as the season wears on. A high profile signing by their recent standards, Mario will add much needed flair and verve to an attacking line currently plagued with injuries. Moyes will be hoping he fits seamlessly into the fold sooner rather than later.