Former Cagliari coach Massimo Rastelli feels that the departure of Ivan Perisic at the start of the summer has been one of the biggest factors leading to Inter’s early season drop-off in form.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster TMW Radio, Rastelli gave his thoughts on the Nerazzurri’s struggles across the first few weeks of the campaign, identifying the struggle to readjust the balance of the team after Perisic’s exit as one key problem.

Perisic had arguably been Inter’s outstanding player over the whole of last season, with the Croat’s consistent performances up and down the left flank giving the team a lot on both sides of the ball.

The 33-year-old decided to leave to join Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer rather than accepting the Nerazzurri’s contract extension offer, and whilst Robin Gosens, Matteo Darmian, and Federico Dimarco have all tried their hand at making the left-sided position their own, none have come close to matching him.

“It’s as if they lost all there awareness and conviction,” Rastelli said, “last year, until the second derby, they were a goal machine. The players are more or less the same.”

“The loss of Perisic has had a big effect,” he continued, “he was the element that created numerical superiority and covered his entire side of the pitch, that made the difference.”

“For Inzaghi this is the most delicate moment since he’s been at the club,” he added. “All the coaches go through difficult moments, but I believe that Simone will be able to overcome this phase.”

Rastelli concluded that “The important thing is that he remain lucid and understand the problems, working to eliminate errors.”