Ex-Inter Defender Antonio Paganin: “Nerazzurri Are Serie A’s Best, Eriksen’s Attitude Finally Improving”

February 17, 2021 17:00
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Christian Eriksen’s rebirth at Inter is down to the midfielder’s improved attitude, according to the Nerazzurri’s former defender Antonio Paganin.

The Dane was one of Inter’s best performers during last weekend’s 3-1 win over Lazio and is favourite to start in Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina against AC Milan.

Eriksen is reportedly reaping the benefits of having learned Italian, with Paganin hinting the 29-year-old had not applied himself sufficiently up until now.

“He has changed his attitude, finally,” Antonio, brother of Massimo, told TMW Radio today.

“Eriksen has found the right balance to learn what Italian football is about and the ability to sacrifice himself in order to adapt.”

Paganin, who spent five years with Inter between 1990 and 1995, proceeded to discuss whether Inter’s starting midfield can really be formed of Eriksen, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic, as it was against Lazio on Sunday.

“I like it, but we need to see what happens when they need to put their foot in,” he suggested.

“The difference against Lazio was made by the attackers and the defenders.

“Patric and Wesley Hoedt weren’t up to the standard of Lazio’s first-choice defenders.

“Inter do have quantity and quality in equal measure in midfield though.”

Antonio Conte’s side went top of Serie A for the first time this season courtesy of their victory over the Biancocelesti on matchday 22.

Paganin was delighted to see his former side back at the summit and admitted he was confident the Nerazzurri could clinch the Scudetto.

“It was about time that the strongest team went top of the league,” he argued.

“Inter demonstrated their strength against Lazio and now go into the derby as league leaders.

“It is nice to see such an important Milan derby.”

The former Bologna, Sampdoria and Udinese player was also asked whether Juventus president Andrea Agnelli should follow in Conte’s footsteps and apologise for last week’s scuffle during the Derby d’Italia in Turin.

“This tension is most likely present because they all think they can win the league,” Paganin suggested.

“There’s animosity because of this, although in my opinion Inter remain the strongest team in the league.”

Agnelli yesterday joked that his row with Conte, which saw the Inter boss give his former president the middle finger, was a way of showing each other affection.

 

By Cammy Anderson
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