Internazionale manager Luciano Spalletti has claimed that midfielder Joao Mario has what it takes to be a top player, but first he must realise the mistakes he is making.
The versatile Portuguese midfielder arrived at San Siro last summer from Sporting CP and enjoyed a fairly promising, if not spectacular, debut campaign in Italy, scoring three goals and assisting five more in 30 Serie A appearances.
However, Mario is far from the finished article and Spalletti says he must begin understanding what he is doing wrong on the pitch in order to improve.
Speaking to Mediaset Premium in Singapore, via Football Italia, the manager said: “Joao Mario has quality, and if he understands those two or three things he’s doing wrong and needs to change in order to complete his game, then he can become a top player.
“He won’t play from the start today, as I have a quality squad and want to get to know the other elements too. There will be an opportunity to see him on the pitch, though.”
The Nerazzurri have impressed so far in pre-season, beating Lyon and Bayern Munich and the boss is confident the likes of Mario can enjoy a productive campaign in 2017/18.
“It’s all about the development of the work. If the training sessions are done with quality and effort, then I am confident going into every game.
“The players worked well, following on what they did against Bayern, so I have faith.”