Sassuolo striker Andrea Pinamonti feels that coming through the Nerazzurri’s youth ranks had a significant effect on his growth as a player because of who he was able to work with.

Speaking to Trento-based newspaper Il T in an interview published in today’s print edition, the 23-year-old named former Nerazzurri captain Mauro Icardi as an early inspiration, and also talked about the faith put in him by coaches Stefano Pioli and Antonio Conte.

Pinamonti left Inter during the summer transfer window, joining Sassuolo on a permanent transfer from the Nerazzurri off the back of an excellent loan spell with Empoli during the prior season.

However, the young striker still got a significant boost from his time as an Inter player.

The 23-year-old will always remember his time coming through the youth ranks at the Nerazzurri.

Pinamonti spoke about the first time that he was called up to the Nerazzurri senior team, recalling that “It was an afternoon in November 2016, I was in training with the Primavera.”

“Suddenly they stopped my training and summoned me to the offices,” he continued, “I was worried that it was because I was in some kind of trouble for something I’d done and I was going to be reprimanded.”

He went on that “The first team was preparing for the match against Sparta Prague in the Europa League and they told me that Palacio was injured.”

“The coach [Pioli] needed a reserve forward, and he chose me.”

“Two weeks later Pioli also called me for the return leg, putting me among the regular starters,” he added. “We were already eliminated, but for me it was a moment of trust.”

Pinamonti noted that “One moment you’re just a fan, and then a moment later you’re standing there among your heroes.”

“Training with Icardi, who was my idol, was fantastic,” he added. “He was kind, he helped me out a lot.”

Pinamonti then recalled that “Playing for Frosinone was my first real season in Serie A because I played regularly, then I returned to Inter and that was another important step for me.”

“It was 2021, we won the Scudetto and made my debut in the Champions League,” he continued.

“I also scored a goal, in league, against Sampdoria.”