Joao Mario is back at his best and is likely to start tomorrow’s game in Bergamo from the first minute in place of Radja Nainggolan, who is still not at full fitness and Corriere dello Sport have emphasized the importance that Joao Mario could have.
“A good part of Joao Mario’s rebirth should be attributed to Luciano Spalleti, who is very good at working with the players on a psychological level by motivating them and making them feel important even when they are not on the pitch. Joao Mario has been working hard in training, even in the weeks before his appearance at the Olimpico against Lazio. The training sessions for Joao Mario were like Champions League finals and his attitude convinced Spalletti to give him a chance, which the midfielder took full advantage of. Just like Gagliardini, Dalbert, Borja Valero, and Candreva, all of these players went from ‘barely playing’ to ‘semi-starters’ thanks to the motivation given to them by the coach. Joao Mario is not included in the Champions League list and, unless there is a very large sale (Skriniar, Icardi, or Perisic), he will not be added even in January. All he can do is give his best when he is called into action in the league, just like he did against Lazio and Genoa.”
Among other things, the Portuguese midfielder performed even better when he was placed in midfield in a 4-3-3.
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