Former Lazio, Juventus, and West Ham United striker Paolo Di Canio believes that Inter have moved on completely from the loss of Romelu Lukaku.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, the former striker gave his thoughts on the stylistic evolution at the Nerazzurri since the Belgian was sold to Chelsea.
Many expected when Lukaku departed from Inter that the Nerazzurri would become a less effective team going forward and that they could face an uphill battle defending the Scudetto crown achieved last season with the striker in the team.
Instead, the Nerazzurri have hardly missed a beat, getting past a few early wobbles to storm to the top of the Serie A table and establish themselves as credible favourites to win the title a second season running.
Di Canio feels that they have shown that in spite of Lukaku’s quality, Inter have shown that they can do just as well in his absence.
“When everyone on the pitch can contribute in possession, you are playing total football,” he explained. “There is life after Lukaku at Inter, it had seemed as though you couldn’t play without him in Italy.”
He went on that “A 35-year-old Dzeko has come in and done well, also bringing the best out of his teammates, who are proving themselves after Conte: it is as if everyone has ‘freed themselves.'”
“Inter are a very technical team,” he explained. “Lautaro, who looked like he might be lost without the Belgian, has improved because he is spearheading the combinations with his teammates who are playing a form of total football.”
“This does not mean that Conte’s game was not valid,” he reflected, “but for me he didn’t completely unlock the talents of players like Barella, who now has something more to his game.”
“Today’s Inter is an upgrade compared to last year’s because they play more European-quality football,” he argued, “and it is no coincidence that they deservedly got out of their Champions League group.”
He concluded that “Things went how they went against Real, but we didn’t see the clear difference between the two teams, beyond a certain comfort and familiarity in the surroundings.”