Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi made signing Benjamin Pavard from Bayern Munich the priority last summer, particularly after missing out on Cesar Azpilicueta.
Today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews, highlight the coach’s decision.
Last summer saw Inter working within the “short blanket” of constructing their squad within budgetary restrictions.
There were a number of areas in which the team had to strengthen. These included midfield, attack, and defense. There was also the matter of replacing Andre Onana in goal, and freshening up on the wings.
And even with the bid money sales of Onana and Marcelo Brozovic, there was a limited amount of money to invest.
So the club, as has become customary, had to rely on bargain and free transfers.
The strategic element meant figuring out where to spend big. And when to go for the low-cost opportunities.
One of the most important priorities for the summer was replacing Milan Skriniar.
And Inter looked to have found their ideal replacement in the form of departing Chelsea captain Azpilicueta. He was available on a free transfer – something Inter are never shy about seeking.
The Spaniard was exactly the profile Inter, and Inzaghi, wanted. Even well into his thirties, Azplicueta was the exact profile the coach wants from his outside centre-backs.
Inzaghi was adamant about adding a defensively astute player, capable of playing in the wide areas, and also a presence with quality and incisiveness in attack.
Basically, Tuttosport suggests, a luxury version of the role Matteo Darmian played last season.
Why Inzaghi Insisted On Pavard After Missing Out On Azpilicieuta
But at the eleventh hour, Azpilicueta decided against joining Inter.
The 34-year-old instead chose to join Atletico Madrid, returning to his home country of Spain with his family.
This left Inter back at square one. Looking for a replacement for Skriniar.
And the fact that there was also the need to strengthen the attack after the departures of Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku further complicated things.
The prevailing view in August seemed to be that Inter should make their big investment in a high-quality striker. Then look to the market for a cheaper opportunity to replace Skriniar.
But it was Inzaghi who insisted on Pavard.
The former Lazio coach saw the Frenchman as the absolutely ideal option to not just reinforce, but improve the backline.
Therefore, the coach asked his club to sign Pavard at all costs – even if it meant sacrificing the cash needed to sign a more expensive striker.
Inter brought in low-cost attacking options Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez. And they landed their man in the form of Pavard.
And now it is not hard to see why Inzaghi wanted Pavard so badly.
The performance from the pacy, composed, and technically astute 27-year-old have made him a perfect option on the right side of Inter’s back three,