West Ham United manager David Moyes has named new boy Joao Mario on the substitutes’ bench for today’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wigan Athletic.
The Portugal midfielder joined the Hammers on loan from Inter Milan on Friday and, having received international clearance, has been selected in the matchday 18 at the DW Stadium.
Joao Mario will have to wait to make his debut, but is expected to feature at some stage for Moyes’ injury-depleted squad.
With a host of senior players unavailable, the Scot has brought no fewer than six Academy graduates with him to Wigan, with Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford, Moses Makasi, Grady Diangana and former Latics loanees Reece Burke and Marcus Browne all in the travelling party of 20.
As the manager confirmed on Thursday, captain Joe Hart will start in goal in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, who is expected to be in the crowd here this afternoon.
In front of him, it remains to be seen how the Hammers will line up formation-wise.
The defence could be formed of Sam Byram, Pablo Zabaleta, Burke, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell.
In midfield, Pedro Obiang will patrol the centre of the pitch with Josh Cullen and could be joined by Zabaleta, while it looks like Arthur Masuaku will play wide.
Antonio Martinez’s childhood dream comes through in attack, as the Spaniard partners Mexico’s all-time leading scorer Chicharito up front.
Joao Mario is joined on the bench by Adrian, James Collins, Oxford, Diangana, Domingos Quina and Sead Haksabanovic, with Browne and Makasi the two youngsters to miss out.