“Inter are in need of champions, enough of buying average players.” These were the words of ex-Nerazzurri and Milan striker Christian Vieri this week. On the one hand, Luciano Spalletti’s team have begun to add to the squad, but on the other hand, it could be seen as a slow or somewhat unspectacular window thus far. Whilst ‘Bobo’ may believe that his former club should invest with purpose, there is still time and Inter are not done yet, but do they really need to recruit heavily at all?
Inter have only signed Daniele Padelli, Milan Skriniar and Borja Valero this summer, but there are reasons behind this. One of the first priorities for the club was operating within the Financial Fair Play rules. The excessive spending over recent seasons saw players like Geoffrey Kondogbia, Joao Mario and Ivan Perisic amongst others arrive, many on complex loan deals with a chance to buy later. Xherdan Shaqiri was an example of this and his departure may not have cost the club, but other players did. Even to this day Stevan Jovetic is still waiting to leave and Inter needed to sell the likes of Ever Banega this term simply to hold on to assets (they hope) like Perisic.
Context is also needed, as despite Inter’s poor finish last season, they have the basis of a very good squad. The frustration that they could not perform together saw Frank de Boer sacked early on and Stefano Pioli later followed. This was symbolic of the club’s attitude last season of “Why can’t you make this bunch work?” When a team contains the likes of Samir Handanovic, Jeison Murillo, Joao Mario, Roberto Gagliardini, Perisic, Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi, then it is fair to say that the squad has good foundations. Was Vieri wrong then in his statement that they needed to buy champions? The aforementioned group may not be, but they are an incredibly talented bunch.
Inter also have the task of getting rid of the dead wood in the squad. Many who frequent San Siro will cringe at the thought that Andrea Ranocchia, Yuto Nagatomo, Jonathan Biabiany and more are still with the club. These players (it can only be presumed) are surely on their last life and would be allowed to go should the right bid come in. Padelli and Skriniar are already signs that the squad is being improved when it looks towards the bench: this may not excite ‘Bobo’ but it’s necessary.
There is certainly time in the window and the club have addressed some immediate issues. The signing of Borja Valero is certainly a necessity. Inter have for some time needed a midfielder who can act as a metronome and dictate the play. The 32-year-old at his price of €7m is no gamble in today’s market and his intelligence and ability could be extremely beneficial, especially as it will allow Joao Mario to play higher up the field.
Vieri is right, Inter have not set the world on fire this window, well at least not yet. They have however addressed some key squad issues, sorted out FFP and purchased a midfielder who could be the key for the fluidity of the team. Patrik Schick and Keita Balde Diao have been heavily linked and may give fans the truly Milanese luxury that their transfer window needs, but it may be worth reminding Bobo that spending money doesn’t always equal success.