Happy New Year to all Inter-fans. Following the Christmas break, Inter were back in action on Monday evening as they made the trip to Naples to take on Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli.
Christian Eriksen or Arturo Vidal?
Pre Christmas, Inter found themselves dreadfully short on midfield cover. The likes of Matias Vecino, Roberto Gagliardini and Borja Valero found themselves pulling overtime due to injuries to Sensi and Barella.
With Barella and Sensi now being fed in slowly as they return to full fitness, the quality of the midfield is now somewhat stronger. However, one thing that we have learned is that in Brozovic, Sensi and Barella, Inter have quality and a midfield three capable of a Scudetto challenge. Beyond those, Inter lack depth and the manager has been outspoken about his desire for more quality.
A former charge of Conte at Juventus in the shape of Arturo Vidal has been linked as has wantaway Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen. The prospect of either of these two players joining Inter is mouthwatering, especially when compared with some of the dross that made up the midfield for the majority of the last decade.
Where Vidal has a little more experience and potential to provide more power and energy, Eriksen offers creativity and a set piece dynamo. Both deals may be difficult to pull off but if you could choose one who would you go for?
What Does The Future Hold For Diego Godin?
Over the season, the usefulness of Diego Godin has been greatly debated. A no doubt world class talent in his prime and a true leader but the question has been whether or not he has joined Inter past that prime.
During the festive period there have been mutterings of a return to his old stomping ground of Atletico Madrid or even a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray.
In some games Godin has showed his true quality but he has also found himself lacking in pace that has seen him exposed in Conte’s 3-5-2. At 33, the Uruguayan is not going to get any better but the question is has he still got enough to offer Inter, a side who this term seem set on a challenge for the Scudetto.
With Alessandro Bastoni coming through and looking like a player who could play for Inter and Italy for many years to come, Inter have an able replacement in the starting XI. For depth purposes, options such as Marash Kumbulla from Verona.
Romelu Lukaku Is The Real Deal
Romelu Lukaku is easy to praise and is a hugely discussed figure at the moment.
Upset Manchester United fans can’t stop talking about Big Rom who is showing the kind of form that tempted Inter a club record fee for the Belgian.
His first goal in Naples on Monday night showed true world class talent. His pace, power and penetration were too much for the Napoli defence to handle and it showed the watching audience what the big man is capable of.
Inter are not missing Mauro Icardi at all. Imagine saying that sentence a year ago?!
In Lukaku they have one of the best number nine’s in world football and a much more complete player than Icardi. He offers more pace, strength and also the ability to bring others into the game through acts of selflessness. It is time to stop talking about Lukaku’s first touch and take a look at his goal record. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer take note..
The Return Of Alexis Sanchez
Along with Barella, Sensi and Gagliardini, Alexis Sanchez has found himself back in the first team after injury.
Interisti are yet to see the Chilean attempt his Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku style post Manchester United redemption but before his injury he looked like he was showing early signs of it.
After his impressive first start away at Sampdoria (we will ignore his silly red card) much was hoped for the ex-Barca man until injury struck.
As we see him now back in the first team squad, Inter now have a player capable of deputising for Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. This isn’t taking anything away from young Sebastien Esposito who despite his tender years has been excellent when called up on. As the season moves on, Sanchez will become more and more crucial as Inter bid to keep their Scudetto charge in full throttle and perhaps have a stab at the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.
Top quality talent in Sanchez as a squad player is something that only Juve could match in Serie A. The Chilean will feel like a new signing.
Flashback To A Year Ago
A year ago, Inter were about to embark on a truly turbulent period.
Despite beating Napoli on Boxing Day, their new year started in panic. A poor home draw with Sassuolo followed by defeats against Torino and Bologna saw Inter start the year shockingly.
Radja Nainggolan was suspended from the first team due to ‘unprofessionalism’ and Mauro Icardi was ‘injured’ and then became public enemy of the dressing room.
Fast forward a year and you have Inter topping Serie A. The man wearing 9 is leading the line selflessly and Inter have the most exciting Italian midfielders in the division in the shape of Barella and Sensi.
Conte has replaced Spaletti and Don Beppe and Ausillo are making the squad stronger each window. Thank goodness for Matias Vecino and his goal against Lazio to drag this club away from FFP. 2020 promises a return to glory for Inter.