Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi was insistent upon signing defender Francesco Acerbi on loan from Lazio partly because he sees him as a genuine potential starter in the back three.

This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who report that the coach has always expected that the 34-year-old would be able to get regular playing time and be an addition to the team’s starting eleven.

Inzaghi had pressed to get a deal for Acerbi wrapped up before the summer transfer window, whilst club President Steven Zhang had reportedly had reservations, not sure of whether it was a wise investment to pay the wages of a player who would arrive as a replacement for Andrea Ranocchia.

However, the coach doesn’t just see Acerbi as a replacement for Ranocchia, which is to say a depth option behind Stefan de Vrij in the pecking order, but believes that he can make regular appearances both in the centre of the back three and also on the left in favour of Alessandro Bastoni.