Friday August 8 2014
Inter’s bad boy brigade

With Inter signing Dani Osvaldo and closing in on Gary Medel, Varun Mathure takes a look at a new Nerazzurro group of bad boys.

When Marco Branca finally vacated his position as the technical director at Inter following the Fredy Guarin–Mirko Vucinic swap saga, Inter fans at once breathed a sigh of relief and then worried about how would replace him.

Piero Ausilio was a man who had worked with Inter for a few years, predominantly on the technical and scouting side, but whether he had the market nous was unknown. But, with five shrewd acquisitions for a very small price, he is justifying being given the role.

The deal for Nemanja Vidic was already done, but Ausilio can take full credit for getting Yann M’Vila, Dodo, Osvaldo and, soon-to-be, Medel. All four have been acquired as part of a wider club strategy to recruit youth and they have a common factor uniting them – a hunger to prove themselves.

M’Vila had attracted a lot of attention from Europe’s top clubs during his time at Rennes. The France U-19 international had become known for his hard tackling and ball distribution, with Marcel Desailly even saying in 2012 that ‘he could be better than Patrick Vieira’.

In spite of such promise that had seen him make the Ligue 1 Team of the Year for 2010-11, M’Vila drifted off. His performances became more sporadic and at one stage the Rennes fans turned their back on him for his perceived lack of effort. A €12m move to Rubin Kazan was seen as a sign of the player’s lack of ambition.

But, now M’Vila has taken a pay cut and even refused a golden shake from Kazan to ease his passage to Inter. He explained his decision in his opening presser: “It's not just about the money but what the team can offer you on the pitch. I see the club has big plans, they want to get back to the top and that's exactly where I want to be.”

Dodo, who joined soon after, is another player eager for a chance. The 22-year-old left-back had been linked to Europe’s elite after a series of great displays for Brazil in the South American U-17 Championship back in 2009. He eventually came to the peninsula in 2012, when Roma signed him up.

However, he found his chances with the Giallorossi limited as he was first stuck behind the likes of Federico Balzaretti in the pecking order, before emerging last term under Rudi Garcia. At Inter, he is not expected to begin as first-choice either, but he is a player who Coach Walter Mazzarri wanted, to provide more options for deploying his favoured 3-5-2 formation.

He was a starter in the friendly games against Real Madrid and Manchester United during the International Champions Cup and also against his former side, delivering a precise cross for Nemanja Vidic’s opener in that 2-0 win. Such performances will definitely help him with his morale going into the new season.

And then come the two new acquisitions from England, Osvaldo and Medel. The Italy international is better known in his homeland for his flamboyant lifestyle than his goals, but he has been a target of Mazzarri’s for some time.

In his opening Press conference, the forward stated he would like to turn that image around following a dismal year at Southampton: “I really want to be a key performer again. I'm determined to get back playing as I know I can, and show what I can do in this shirt.”

At 28, he knows this could be his last chance at a big club and the pressure to deliver on him will be great. However, given Inter’s still strong Argentine contingent, gelling in will not be too much of an issue. And alongside Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi he gives Mazzarri another diverse option in the final third.

The latest arrival is set to be Gary Medel, who is getting his first spell at a traditional big club. The Chilean impressed for Cardiff last year, and even went some way to dispelling his bad boy reputation earned at Sevilla by going the Premier League campaign without a single red card and only six yellows.

The midfielder was very impressive in Chile’s World Cup campaign, and he is expected to replace Esteban Cambiasso in the Nerazzurri midfield. Former-Inter player Ivan Zamorano was quick to praise his compatriot’s acquisition: “He is a mix between Diego Simeone and Paul Ince. He never leaves the pitch without having given everything.”

In M’Vila and Medel, Inter could well have two wrecking balls in the midfield and it will be interesting to see how and if Mazzarri manages to fit them both into the side. Interestingly, all four of the players mentioned have arrived on loans, and hardly cost La Beneamata much.

Given their fiery personalities, Inter fans will hope that there are no dressing room clashes and that the fire is restricted to the pitch. It seems now that the team has the tools to put up a fight for a top-three spot.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
all great signings. lots of depth and mostly young players or in their prime age. This will make getting s starting role more competitive and make each player better.

The most interesting signing for me is M'villa. can't wait to see what he is capable of doing and how good he might be.
on the 25th August, 2014 at 3:18pm
Medel is all heart. In watching the WC you could feel the anger and pain he felt in losing on penalties. Sure many other players from several other teams expressed anger/pain in losing, but in my opinion Medel really showed his color on his sleeves which made me appreciate his love for country and game...side note: I never seen him play until the WC and now that he is in Seria A I will enjoy watching his brute force and that's from a Napoli fan.
on the 14th August, 2014 at 9:39pm
I have a huge sense of relief.

when we were linked with likes of Jon Obi Mikel (my Chelsea friend calls him "The Blue Dustbin') I felt the ghost of Branca was still haunting the San Siro.

Instead some interesting & progressive signings & a better balanced squad than for years.

not spectacular, but solid, as ever with my Inter I feared another decade of turmoil so pleased for some sense to prevail.

one thing, with such 'bad boy' signings, just how many pens will Juve get against us? ;-)
on the 13th August, 2014 at 6:15pm
Exiting season ahead for all Inter tifosi :)
on the 13th August, 2014 at 5:27am
Thohir and Ausilio deserve the praise they are getting for this summers work in the transfer market. I'm still hoping a couple of the excess players will be shifted from the squad such as Silvestre, Kuzmanovic, Campagnaro so that the youngsters like Khrin and M'Baye will get a chance to start a few games in the Europa and Coppa. But Mazzarri isn't the most accomodating manager to young players.

Also, hope we manage to get Chicharito Hernandez from Man United. He's worth losing Guarin for.
on the 11th August, 2014 at 8:01am
Not a fan of Osvaldo but hey we swapped a useless player for him in Taider so I'll take the deal.
on the 10th August, 2014 at 3:04pm
In medel we have a player who isn't the most gifted technically but what he lacks in skill medel makes up double that with his fight and heart, something the nerazzurri have been lacking for the last few seasons since players like dejan,materazzi and recently zanetti and cambiasso have finished glorious careers in the black and blue. To put it simple Gary Medel is nothing short of a WARRIOR..So call us the Bad Boys of Serie A.... FORZA INTER!!!!!!
on the 9th August, 2014 at 3:16am
Osvaldo has always been average to me, he showed signs of some ability in his spells at espanyol and roma but he never have convinced me that he is good enough to lead a major team, nevertheless credit must go to Aid and Thohir yet again to be able to get Osvaldo on loan with a redemption fee of around 7 mil, he should be a good option off the bench behind icardi and who knows maybe even surprise me and emulate his roma days again...
on the 9th August, 2014 at 3:06am
Thohir and Ausilio deserve nothing but the uptmost praise for the job done so far in this transfer market... vidic is still a good cb. M'Villa is a player who once he can stay focus and get fit will prove what desailly said in 2012... he has the ability to be that good... great passing range from deep, great tackler and reader of the game allowing kovacic and hernanes to do their magic ... with Dodo we have a young exciting wing back that will only keep improving providing he stays injury free
on the 9th August, 2014 at 2:57am
Its great to see Inter dreaming again. This could be the start of another beautiful Inter like the one in 2010. That Inter's building blocks were strong midfielders like Stankovic and so
on the 8th August, 2014 at 11:05pm
I am not a fan of Osvaldo, but for a free loan i'll take him and see what happens. Hopefully he puts up another 17 goal display like he did for Roma. Medel and M'Villa in the middle of the park with Kovacic and Hernandes pulling the strings? Yeah .. we better be top 3 this year.
on the 8th August, 2014 at 8:18pm
Thank god for Thohir, thank god for Ausilio, this might be what we've been waiting for. Mvila and Medel should give the centre of the team what it lacked last season; BIG COJONES! I wouldn't overplay the 'bad boy' image yet, but I like the idea, after all, good guys finish second. FORZA INTER!!!
on the 8th August, 2014 at 6:54pm
on the 8th August, 2014 at 6:20pm
Osvaldo is a joke. But Medel is great, so it cancels out
on the 8th August, 2014 at 5:33pm

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