Inter Milan have built a nearly perfect machine despite the big name departures from the past three summers.
This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
Inter gave one of the clearest demonstrations of their strength on Friday against Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana.
The 3-0 scoreline somehow didn’t fully reflect how one-sided the match was. Inter took 23 shots compared to Lazio’s five, with the Biancocelesti failing to register one on target.
The Nerazzurri dominated possession and played at a breathless tempo.
Naturally, Inter will want to repeat this kind of performance in the final against Napoli tomorrow.
Then, the Nerazzurri will return to Serie A. They will face a gruelling title race against Juventus.
The fact remains that Inter’s lead at the top of the table is razor-thin, ahead of next month’s direct clash with the Bianconeri.
But Inter are top of the table, in any events.
The Nerazzurri have the strongest records in the Italian top flight in both attack and defense. They have kept twelve clean sheets in the league.
And in the Champions League, Inter reached the final last season.
The Nerazzurri went toe-to-toe with Premier League juggernaut Manchester City, only losing by a 1-0 margin.
And next month, Inter will begin another Champions League knockout campaign, against Atletico Madrid.
Inter Built “Nearly Perfect Machine” Despite Losing Key Players
The Nerazzurri have done all this whilst losing big name players year on year since Simone Inzaghi took over.
First there were the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen, and Achraf Hakimi.
That trio had been key parts of the Nerazzurri’s Serie A title triumph during the 2020-21 season under Antonio Conte.
Ivan Perisic left on a free transfer at the end of the 2021-22 season, when he had been Inter’s standout player.
Then, last summer, the likes of Milan Skriniar, Andre Onana, Edin Dzeko, and Marcelo Brozovic all departed.
Squad turnover is a normal part of life at any top club.
But the fact that key starters have departed at the rate they have for Inter is unusual.
And the Nerazzurri have needed to be shrewd in the transfer market when replacing these players, for the same reason they had to make big sales – financial issues.
Inter have brought in players like Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Benjamin Pavard, Marcus Thuram, and Francesco Acerbi.
Of that quintet only Pavard cost a significant fee.
And three were free transfers.
Meanwhile, Federico Dimarco has stepped up to more than ably replace Perisic. The 26-year-old has become one of the best left-backs in Europe in an attacking sense, and a key part of Inter.
And Dimarco is a player who came through Inter’s academy.
There is still a core of players at Inter who had been part of the title-winning side under Conte.
Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez, and Alessandro Bastoni all retain key roles. And veterans like Matteo Darmian and Stefan de Vrij continue to have a role to play.
But the Nerazzurri have largely had to rebuild on a budget.
This has not, however, caused them to regress on the pitch.