Gazzetta dello Sport dedicated a page of their Friday edition to analysing Marcelo Brozovic’s miraculous upturn in form during the last month, which has seen the Croatian go from being public enemy number one to arguably the most important player in Luciano Spalletti’s new-look Inter team.

After coming very close to joining Sevilla on the final day of the January transfer window many thought Brozovic had no future with the Nerazzurri, but the failure to sign Javier Pastore (which would have freed him up to move to Spain) has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he has since found a new lease of life in central midfield.

“Brozovic’s transformation is clear for all to see and is confirmed when you analyse his numbers before and after the match against Bologna,” Gazzetta write, “which have shot up in a way that cannot be explained solely by him moving into a position where statistically you touch the ball more.”

“His numbers in terms of balls recovered per game have almost quadrupled (from 2.3 before to 8.75 now), just like his forward passes (26 to 82) and his dribbles (0.75 to 2.25) – not to mention the increase in his long passes (2.45 to 13.75). A slight increase when it comes to fouls committed, on the other hand: 1.25 now against the 0.9 when he was playing as a trequartista.

“Even though he’s further away from goal the Croatian remains an incisive player. He provided the ingenious assist for Perisic’s goal against Verona (taking his assist tally to 5 for the season, a personal record, along with 3 goals scored) while he also had a couple of shots on goal during a derby in which he was brilliant at alternating short passes, balls over the top and changes of play.”