Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries looks set for a run of games in place of Matteo Darmian should the Italian’s thigh problem be serious enough to rule him out of significant time.
This will give the Dutchman an opportunity to show that he belongs at the Nerazzurri according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who argue that the matches will be a major test for him.
Darmian had to come off during the second half of yesterday’s 2-0 win over Venezia as he went down holding his thigh, and initial tests revealed that the 31-year-old had picked up a thigh strain.
More tests will be needed to determine whether the issue will be serious enough to cause him to miss much time recovering from the injury, but given the packed fixture schedule that the Nerazzurri find themselves in it is probable that he will be out for a few games.
Dumfries filled in for Darmian yesterday evening and helped the team to a clean sheet and three points, but taking the 31-year-old’s place over the coming match could prove to be a more daunting proposition.
Darmian has been in excellent form and one of the Nerazzurri’s standout performers in recent matches and over the course of the season, so Dumfries will have to show both quality and consistency to fill the Italian’s shoes.
The 25-year-old has yet to really announce himself as an Inter player since his arrival from PSV in the summer, but he will almost certainly start against Spezia on the weekend before he is further tested by Roma and then Real Madrid.
The Dutchman likely would have seen some starts over the coming weeks anyway given the need for squad rotation amid a busy schedule, but now it is clearer that this could be a decisive test for him.