West Ham United's failure to sufficiently strengthen the heart of the team in the summer is already coming home to roost.
Less than three months into the new season and already injuries are threatening to make it a miserable one for West Ham.
Manuel Pellegrini was handed £100 million to spend in the summer and he signed nine new players.
He has already lost three of them to injury with Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko out for the season and Jack Wilshere also ruled out.
Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid and Andy Carroll were already sidelined before a ball had been kicked and Pedro Obiang has been added to the list too meaning the Hammers top the Premier League table for injuries.
Pellegrini raised eyebrows in the summer when he allowed Cheikhou Kouyate and Edimilson Fernandes to leave the club with ageing journeyman flop Sanchez and Wilshere coming in.
Central midfield was the area most in need of strengthening after another season flirting with relegation.
But West Ham failed to adequately address that problem.
And is is already coming home to roost with a desperate lack of options for the Chilean as West Ham once again find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
The Inter Milan and Portugal playmaker enjoyed a relatively successful spell on loan under David Moyes last season.
And when Lanzini was ruled out for much of the season it seemed a 'no-brainer' to end the classy midfielder's unhappy spell in Italy.
But it seems West Ham's preference for a loan rather than permanent move scuppered any deal.
The 25-year-old has not been used by Inter this season and will surely be available again in January.
Mario has a touch of class West Ham sorely lack in central midfield and already knows the club well so it is a move that would suit all parties.
A loan with the option to buy, similar to the deal West Ham struck last January, would be the most likely deal even if Pellegrini is not a fan of loan players.
It would be a move welcomed by Marko Arnautovic who forged a good understanding with the Portuguese during their time together in East London.
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