It’s fair to say that the 2018-19 season that promised so much for Inter Milan failed to materialise in any significant way. For example, they may have come fourth in Serie A but were 21 points off the winners Juventus.
Their international campaign was even less successful as they dropped out from the Champions League down to the Europa where they were dumped out in the Round of 16 by Eintracht Frankfurt. So it was no big surprise when Luciano Spaletti was replaced by Antonio Conte at the end of May.
Whether Conte will be able to recreate the success he enjoyed at Juve when he led them to three successive Serie A titles remains to be seen. He’ll certainly be hoping for this kind of outcome compared with the experience he had in charge of Chelsea when even a record of league and cup success couldn’t save him from the sack.
Inter go into the 2019-20 season with a squad that’s seen quite a few changes over the summer. Notable departures include Zino Vanheusden to Standard Liege, keeper Ionat Radu to Genoa and George Puscas to the Championship side Reading.
In terms of new signings, there has obviously been an open cheque book policy which has seen over three times as much spent on new talent than has been received from transfers away from the squad. So whatever happens over the coming months not having the right players to compete may well be an excuse that will wear a little thin.
Before we get on to the main signing of the closed season, let’s take a quick look at a couple of the new arrivals at San Siro and where they may fit into the line-up.
Valentino Lazaro joins from Hertha BSC where the 23 year old Austrian right midfielder had been making a big impression. He also holds the record as the youngest player ever to make a first team appearance in the Austrian Bundesliga. At €22 million for his transfer fee, great things are expected of him.
Matteo Politano cost just €2 million less on a season long loan deal from Sassuolo where he’d scored 24 goals in 110 appearances. His adaptability to play on either wing and as a second striker means that he could always be a good football tips bet in open play and set pieces too.
But, of course, the big signing that’s caused more than a few ripples of excitement has been Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United for a reported €65 million. The Belgian had obvious difficulties with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer favouring Marcus Rashford instead, despite Lukaku’s remarkable scoring record whenever he was allowed to play.
So it’s a far happier situation he’ll be moving on to at Inter – and if his first appearance in a friendly against Virtus Bergamo is anything to go by, it’s going to mean an avalanche of goals too.
Admittedly, the opposition is going to be a little tougher. But he’s hungry for success so don’t be too surprised if he’s instrumental in helping Inter win Serie A and put in a very good showing in the Champions League too.