What can we expect from Inter next season given the many changes since the Serie A victory?
After winning Serie A for the first time in 11 years, Inter enter the new season with hopes of another victory. Can they really do it?
Footballers across Europe have enjoyed what appears to be the shortest offseason this summer. After the end of the club season and the European Championship, the teams have already started preparations for the coming season.
Serie A starts on August 22 and it looks like we have a very unpredictable season ahead of us.
Inter won their 19th Serie A title last season and enter the battle for the throne as defending champions. Any sports fan knows that it is difficult to win a title, but even more difficult to defend one.
The biggest change in personnel is the introduction of new trainer Simone Inzaghi.
Antonio Conte managed to bring Inter to the top of the league after just two seasons as manager, but despite this the team management decided not to continue cooperation with him.
Conte demanded guarantees that the core of the champions’ winning squad would remain unchanged, prioritizing the extension of the contract with the club’s top scorer, Romelu Lukaku.
No such guarantees were given, which ended his stint at Inter. Simone Inzaghi is probably the best young coach in Italy, maybe even in Europe.
He has spent the last five seasons on the bench for Lazio leading the team to Italian Cup victory in 2019. Inzaghi is known as the players’ coach, a coach who has built a reputation for shooting the best of its players.
Like Conte, Inzaghi prefers a 3-5-2 formation with wings that like to push forward and join the offensive line. In his favorite formation, two center forwards are supported by an attacking midfielder who sits just in front of the other two players in midfield.
It’s a tactically fluid system that feels like a 5-3-2 out of possession as the wingers return to defense. Inzaghi is also known for his versatility in how he prepares his team to defend.
During his time at Lazio, he implemented both a high press and a center block to retrieve the ball when their opponents were in possession.
Inter’s current squad will allow Inzaghi to implement his style of play and the team management sees him as a long-term coach.
However, the real question is whether Inzaghi is capable of leading Inter to another title in his first season?
Conte managed to achieve this in his second season, but unlike Inzaghi, Conte is a much more experienced coach who has already won titles, three with Juventus and one with Chelsea.
Inzaghi certainly has the quality of a coach for great success, but given that this is his first job outside of Lazio, the team where he has spent his entire coaching career so far, to win the title this season would be a huge challenge.
Implementing his playing style will certainly take time and the first five to seven rounds will be crucial for Inter’s success next season.
If Inzaghi manages to win the majority of points during this span, Inter fans can look forward to another successful season. Of course, the competition is still huge but Inter have the quality to win back-to-back titles.
To that end, Inzaghi will have the majority of the roster that reached the throne last season. The main players of his team will be Romelu Lukaku, Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolò Barella and Stefan de Vrij.
The biggest change in the list is definitely the situation with Christian Eriksen. We have all witnessed the dramatic scenes of the match between Denmark and Finland at the European Championship, in which Eriksen was on the verge of death.
Although thankfully the Danish player has recovered, the medical prognosis indicates that he will never be able to play professional football again.
From last year’s squad, Simone Inzaghi will not be able to count on Ashley Young, who returned to Aston Villa, Achraf Hakimi left for PSG, Daniele Padelli went to Udinese while the fate of Aleksandar Kolarov is still uncertain.
So far in the transfer window, the new arrivals are Matteo Darmian, Hakan Calhanoglu and Alex Cordaz.
Matteo Darmian previously played for Inter on loan from Parma, but the team eventually got him to sign a contract. He is an experienced defender and is expected to be consistent in Inzaghi’s first team.
Hakan Calhanoglu has played for rivals Milan for the past four seasons. The Turk is playing wonderfully in midfield and should replace Christian Eriksen immediately.
He has excellent playing skills and is a great passer. What makes him even more dangerous is his shot, which is often a threat to the opposing goal.
Plus, he has a distinguished understanding of when to change direction when on the ball. This makes him particularly dangerous in the opposing half’s central half-spaces, as defenders find it difficult to get close to him.
Alex Cordaz will take over the position of reserve goalkeeper left vacant after the departure of Daniele Padelli. Cordaz is a 38-year-old veteran who has spent the past six seasons at Crotone.
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