Former Sampdoria, Bologna, and Fiorentina goalkeeper Emilian Vivivano feels that current Inter captain Samir Handanovic still has the quality needed to hold down the starting position for the Nerazzurri for another season.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster TMW Radio, Viviano suggested that even though it is natural that the 37-year-old has come in for some criticism due to his recent dip in form, he can still play an important role next campaign.

Handanovic has endured some of the harshest criticism of his tenure with the Nerazzurri this season, with some of his high-profile errors leading to questions as to whether he can remain the starting keeper for much longer.

However, the Slovenian has not yet been displaced from his role, and has started every game that the team has played except for their Coppa Italia round of sixteen clash with Empoli, in which his deputy Andrei Radu played.

Next season, Andre Onana is set to arrive from Ajax and seriously challenge Handanovic for the starting role as well as lay the groundwork to succeed him in the long term, but Viviano isn’t so sure that this will happen right away.

“From one day to the next, I don’t think Handanovic’s place is going to die off right away,” he said, “I think that he’ll still be the starter for one more season.”

Of the criticism that the Nerazzurri captain has received, he said that “When you’ve been at a certain level for a long time, it’s like that.”

“You must have a consistency of high performance to deserve the shirt of the Italian champions,” he added. “Obviously, however, years have passed for him.”