Antonio Conte has already drawn up his transfer plans for this summer as he looks to strengthen his Inter squad ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. The former Juventus boss will be desperate to end the Bianconeri’s dominance next season, and the Nerazzuri are likely to invest substantially over the coming months.
With Sandro Tonali set to be confirmed, and N’Golo Kante, Emerson Palmieri and Chris Smalling also on the manager’s wishlist, it is likely to lead to a number of outgoings. Whilst many fringe players look set to leave the San Siro on a permanent basis, some younger members of the squad are likely to be loaned out in order to gain some valuable first-team experience.
Lucien Jefferson Agoume and Sebastiano Esposito are two young players with a bright future in Serie A, however the pair may be encouraged to temporarily leave northern Lombardy in order to experience the hustle and bustle of competitive football.
Both players were amongst the 100 nominees for the 2020 FIFA Golden Boy award, which is run by Italian newspaper Tuttosport. Previous winners of the trophy include Atletico’s Joao Felix and Kylian Mbappe, whilst the 2018 nominees included Champions League regulars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Houssem Aouar and eventual winner, Matthijs De Ligt.
There are multiple clubs lining up to take the pair on a temporary basis, with Genoa, Parma and Bologna believed to be the frontrunners. However, newcomers Crotone are also on the list, whilst a number of Bundesliga clubs have also expressed an interest.
With Esposito having plundered his first goal for the Nerazurri, Inter have ruled out the option of dropping him down a level to Serie B, as they want the talented striker to be fully up to speed with the top flight upon his return to the club next summer.
Having also racked up 51 minutes in Europe this season, the club clearly have big plans for the Castellammare di Stabia-born forward. The youngster didn’t get the chance to feature in Inter’s surprise loss in the Europa League Final as the two sides were evenly matched, with Sevilla edging ahead in the second half to upset the UEFA Europa League outright odds which had them down as clear underdogs.
Having captained France under-17s, and having also been compared to fellow countryman Paul Pogba, there is plenty of hype surrounding Lucien Jefferson Agoume. The central midfielder has plenty of competition in the Inter squad, and therefore a season-long loan spell appears to be an extremely sensible option.
Although he has all of the attributes to succeed at the highest level, a chance to play regularly in the Italian top flight is likely to significantly help his development, and he could return to the San Siro and potentially establish himself as one of Europe’s finest central midfielders.
Conte must be careful not to loan the dynamic duo to a title rival, or to a side battling relegation. Although the character-building side of the game will surely benefit from being involved in a scrap for survival, the Inter hierarchy will be keen to avoid the risk of any subsequent loss of confidence, if either loanee is unable to guide their temporary employers to safety.
A 38-game spell at a mid-table Serie A side looks to be the ideal solution, and with both players likely to come back stronger, fitter and far more experienced, it should be a situation to benefit all parties.