Legendary former striker Antonio Cassano believes that Inter must do more to get the best out of Alexis Sanchez, who he believes can be a player who makes a significant contribution in attack.
Speaking on Christian Vieri’s Twitch channel, as reported by FCInterNews, the 39-year-old gave the view that the Nerazzurri should do everything they can to keep Sanchez happy, while he also suggested that Nerazzurri centre-back Alessandro Bastoni is not a top-level defender.
Cassano feels that the Nerazzurri can make Sanchez a regular starter alongside Lautaro Martinz, and that the Chilean’s quality can make the difference for them in attack, but that they must ensure that he is happy.
He compared Sanchez’s situation to that of Hakan Calhanoglu, who he feels the club do not need to treat in the same way, stating that the Turk is “A very normal player, the one to cuddle is Sanchez. He can be the difference-maker.”
He went on, “Correa if he scores twenty goals can go where he likes because he has incredible quality, but he struggles because he has ups and downs. We have to wait for him. Sanchez is instead of absolute quality. If you leave Dzeko out tomorrow, the reliable one to put with Martinez is Sanchez.”
The former striker also had criticism for Bastoni, who he believes is having difficulties coping with the defensive demands of Simone Inzaghi’s system this season after having looked good while playing in the defensive setup of previous manager Antonio Conte.
“When you play with Conte it is easy to defend,” he explained, “you do not concede space in behind, you have references. It becomes easier. With Inzaghi you are forty meters from the goal and in fact someone like Bastoni struggles.”
He continued, “Dimarco often comes on. I have always said and continues to say it, with Bastoni. He’s a kind of player I don’t like. He has the right attitude, but man to man he’s having a hard time. In physical confrontation he is afraid.”
Cassano compared the Nerazzurri man to some other top defenders in Europe, stating that “Alaba picks you up at fifty meters, Varane as well. Tomori does it. I like players who have courage in one-on-one situations.”
He summarized, “I repeat that playing three in front of your goal makes it easier for you than when you are far from the goal. If Handanovic does not make 3-4 saves, Inter loses points in the last game. Between Bastoni and Romero I always take Romero.”
Of the Sassuolo and Fiorentina matches he stated, “I have esteem for Inzaghi, but speaking specifically, I don’t know how much Inter deserved in Florence and Emilia-Romagne. Sassuolo could have been up 2- or 3-0. In the last few matches they struggled to manage the game, but I still like them because a team that always tries to play the game well will always have my support.”
And on the Scudetto race, he predicted that Napoli can seriously contend but may struggle with the absences of key players like Victor Osimhen and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa early next year.
“Napoli will go to war against Inter and Milan until January,” he stated, “then there will be the African Cup of Nations and we’ll see what happens.”