Inter’s best signing this summer might spend the whole season on the sideline. No I am not talking about signing another Gabigol, but instead the arrival of Luciano Spalletti from Roma.
Unlike Frank de Boer and Stefano Pioli last season, Spalletti has had a full pre-season to work with the squad.
Without the chaos that surrounded the club a year ago, Spalletti has been able to focus on getting his thoughts and vision over to the players during the preseason.
Spalletti wants an Inter side who can move the ball with confidence, whether on the break or in possession. His introduction of a version of 4-2-3-1 has worked well in the preseason and we have seen the Nerazzurri play at a much higher tempo than we have seen in years.
A higher tempo of play means that possession is controlled, quick moving and the players are willing to make decisions on the final ball. This is something that has been missing in recent years, so consequently the team often looked sluggish, indecisive and got the ball clogged up in midfield.
Unlike what is happening in the red side of Milan, Inter have quietly gone about their work in the transfer window this summer.
Instead of the big splashy signing, Walter Sabatini has instead focused on adding players who can improve the squad and fit within Spalletti’s system.
Borja Valero is an excellent addition who, whilst 32 years of age, can work as a metronome in the midfield and has already demonstrated his ability to funnel attacks.
Dalbert arrives from Nice, another excellent addition in a position that needs improving on. His power, pace and delivery is key to how Spalletti wants to play the game.
The way that Matias Vecino can move the ball around will also be of use, whilst Daniele Padelli and Milan Skriniar are upgrades.
Maybe just as importantly, Inter have been able to hold onto two of their top players in Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva.
Style Of Play
Inter will play with more fluidity and pace this season under Spalletti. I expect them to be quicker offensively and to maintain possession better than we have in recent years.
While we might see Inter is a 3-5-2 or 3-4-2-1 formation at times this season, the base formation will be 4-2-3-1.
In this base formation, Spalletti will employ two holding midfielders while Joao Mario will be pushed forward, between Perisic and Candreva.
Suning’s business model is based upon Champions League football and with Serie A getting four places in next season’s competition, this is the best opportunity for Inter in several years to get back to the big European nights at the San Siro.
Inter’s other top four rivals (Juventus, Roma, Napoli and Milan) all involved in Europe this season. That will give Inter will have more time to prepare for each match, and with only 38 matches, will allow the players to be well rested.
Inter are still behind the top three from last season, but without the distraction of European football I expect Inter to beat Milan to that final Champions League place this season.
Where do you think Inter will finish this season?