Former Inter defender Andrea Mandorlini believes that his former club are still the strongest team in Serie A and will be the favourites to win this season’s Scudetto.
Speaking to Italian news outlet L’Interista, the former defender spoke highly of the quality of the Nerazzurri’s squad and gave the view that they will be able defend last season’s Scudetto crown despite a summer of upheaval.
Inter won last season’s Scudetto by an emphatic twelve-point margin in the table, but the departures of Antonio Conte, Achraf Hakimi, and Romelu Lukaku, the arrivals of Simone Inzaghi and several players, and the changes throughout the top teams in Italy have meant that there is little assurance that they will defend their crown.
However, according to Mandorlini, they will still have what it takes to finish top of the pile and are still the strongest team in the division after the developments of the summer.
“The team who’s already won always start among the favourites,” he said, “This is before considering tactics, but clearly being the Italian champion, Inter starts in pole position, even if defending it is always difficult.”
He went on, “Then there are the usual teams – Juventus and Roma, who have strengthened themselves with great coaches.”
Of Inter’s new head coach, he said that “Simone comes with a positive background, I’m sure he took the pulse of the situation right from the start. In any case, I am very, very confident for the season and for the new arrivals.”
“Starting with Dzeko,” he said, “Inter have gained a player with technical quality, in terms of the ‘stature’ of the player. Then maybe they lost out in terms of strength, the speed that Lukaku and also Hakimi gave. But the team immediately started well.”
“The motivation to defend the title will be very high. Look at Dzeko – Conte already wanted him a year ago, in Milan he finds a chance to win. We will see a great striker at work.”
Mandorlini went on, “Let’s not forget that we have also brought in Correa, a fine player. He can play behind the striker, as an attacking midfielder, even as a second striker at times.”
“He is very, very good and I am happy that he will wear our shirt,” he stated, “They are looking for another striker, not that I know if they will be able to get one, but already in this position I think the team is well equipped.”
Speaking about the transfer of Romelu Lukaku, he compared the ease with which footballers change clubs to the situation during his own playing days.
“Certainly we changed less, there was greater loyalty,” he said, “But times have changed and we have to adapt. Many of my Inter friends have been very upset, but I think we have now reached a point where we should no longer be surprised at anything.”
He continued, ” I’m happy with what he has done for us, and I wish himgood luck for the future. Now it’s the present which counts, which is Dzeko, Correa, Lautaro and all the others.”
On his predictions for tonight’s Serie A clash with Hellas Verona Mandorlini said, “Verona lost the first match against Sassuolo, but playing against them is always difficult. The return of the fans is important for them. Despite this, Inter started well and have all the qualities to go on and win the match.”