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West Ham would guarantee Europa League challenge by re-signing £22.5m-rated playmaker

The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling excited about the future at the club amid rumours that they are interested in signing Felipe Anderson from Lazio.

Tensions away from the field between the fans and the club’s hierarchy dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons last season, but it seems the overriding message of the supporters has been received loud and clear by West Ham’s owners.

A lack of ambition was widely cited as a major frustration for the Hammers faithful who believed the move to the London Stadium would usher in a new era of success for the club. So far that hasn’t proven to be the case as the club have regressed rather than progressed in the last two seasons.

However, Manuel Pellegrini’s first venture into the transfer market suggests winds of change are blowing in East London. The signing of Anderson would certainly represent a genuine statement of intent for the club, but once the deal is complete Pellegrini should make a bid to re-sign Joao Mario from Inter Milan.

The Portugal international is due to participate in the World Cup with his national side this month, so it would be wise for West Ham to open negotiations as soon as possible before he attracts interest from across Europe.

Mario (valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt) has already stated that he is ready to leave the San Siro this summer and has no personal desire to return to the club and, considering he enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Irons last season, Pellegrini would be foolish not to capitalise on the situation this summer.

Although it took Mario some time to find his feet, he showed plenty of promise in the final few weeks of his loan spell with his determined attitude and creative influence in the final-third of the pitch.

His statistical return was relatively modest with just 2 goals and 1 assist to show from 13 appearances for the club, but that record is bound to improve with increased exposure to the Premier League.

With an understanding of the club’s values and supporters expectations already established, Mario should be enticed by a return to the club this summer, so Pellegrini must bring him back to the London Stadium as soon as possible to give his side a huge boost in their bid to qualify for the Europa League next season.

West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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Article title: West Ham would guarantee Europa League challenge by re-signing £22.5m-rated playmaker

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