Benjamin Pavard has already started showing his class at Inter Milan – but big tests lay ahead against Duvan Zapata and Romelu Lukaku.
Today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, highlight the Frenchman’s start to the season.
So far this campaign, Pavard has had one moment he’d really like to forget.
The 27-year-old was at least partly at fault for the mix-up that allowed Joshua Zirkzee to equalize for Bologna in the 2-2 draw just before current the international break.
That was a moment that suggested that there are still some growing pains as far as Pavard fitting in. He can still gain more chemistry with his defensive teammates.
But largely, integration into this Inter system doesn’t look to be a problem for Pavard.
And in terms of his individual displays, the 2018 World Cup winner has shown just why Inter bought him from Bayern Munich.
Pavard Shows Class For Inter – Zapata & Lukaku Lay In Wait
Inter paid a big fee to bring Pavard in this summer.
This was because the club see him as having the perfect profile to replace Milan Skriniar on the right side of the defense.
The versatile defender is a natural candidate for a wide role in a back three. And Inter have backed him to understand Simone Inzaghi’s system to the ground.
In possession, Pavard has shown across four seasons that he can be an effective and proactive element in a possession-based team.
And there have been one or two flashes of that already at Inter.
But the real value of the Frenchman so far has proven to be his defensive attributes.
Apart from his positional error against Bologna, Pavard has hardly put a foot wrong.
And it hasn’t just been a matter of broadly adequate displays from the 27-year-old.
On the contrary, Pavard’s pace, anticipation, and elegant coordination have made him look like a genuinely dominating presence in defense. And he has not lacked for rugged physicality either.
That has been the standout side of Pavard’s early displays, the Gazzetta argue.
But there are big tests of Pavard’s defensive acumen just on the horizon, the newspaper note.
First there will be veteran striker Duvan Zapata. The Nerazzurri take on Torino after the break, and the Colombian former Atalanta, Udinese, Napoli, and Sampdoria striker will certainly not prove a straightforward task for Pavard to mark.
And if Zapata’s physicality and guile will be a tough test for the Frenchman, Romelu Lukaku could be even moreso.
The Belgian returns to the San Siro with Roma at the end of this month.
Few strikers have dominated one-on-one battles in Serie A quite like Lukaku in recent seasons.
Therefore, the duel with the Belgian will be a formidable one for Pavard.
But on the other hand, he has looked like he has what it takes to prove himself going up against Lukaku. This would certainly endear him all the more to Nerazzurri fans, given the controversy around Lukaku.