Liverpool fans here in the Tavern are excited for the rest of the season but should they momentarily turn their attention to the opposing teams midfielder this weekend?
West Ham have normally found that their loan deals tend to be unsuccessful, especially from the Serie A. The dreadful flashbacks of Simone Zaza and Marco Borriello, in particular, come to mind for Hammers fans but thus far, Joao Mario and his loan spell at West Ham has been enjoyed by both parties.
Having lost Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona this January, it may be worth Liverpool keeping an eye on the Portuguese international to see how he copes against a stronger opposition.
If rumours are to be believed, Emre Can could be leaving Anfield and with the loss of a box to box midfielder, Liverpool could spend the money on Mario, the £23.40m-rated (via Transfermarkt) replacement. You could argue that it may be too early to judge Mario but West Ham fans have taken to the 25-year-old and are blessed to have another seasoned international within their ranks.
Liverpool’s real problems lay in defensive areas but while Joao Mario couldn’t solve that, he could help in outscoring the Reds’ opponents, the approach that Liverpool have adopted many times throughout this season alone.
Previous rumours have linked West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini to Liverpool but facing the possibility of missing out due to injury, his replacement Joao Mario should be contained as the range of passing he has shown already has been impressive for West Ham.
Looking to rebuild his career after failing to make an impact this season at Inter Milan, the Premier League is undoubtedly the hardest league in the world so if he continues to impress for the Hammers, this should be a positive sign for Liverpool that he could be a player they target in the summer.
With top four hopes and Champions League chances well in sight this season, Liverpool need to spend big in the summer to allow themselves further chances next season of challenging more for the Premier League title as well as the domestic cups.
Liverpool should be hopeful for victory at home to West Ham but a game like this could be an all too familiar banana skin for the Reds. With several West Ham players capable of damaging Liverpool, they need to make sure their best defensive and offensive displays are available to keep West Ham fighting down the table with relegation.
But whilst the Liverpool players concentrate on winning the game, the Reds fans at the bar here at the Tavern will keep a close eye on West Ham’s number 18.
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