Thursday August 16 2018
Inter can finally compete again

An incredible summer transfer window and financial stability could see Inter back at the top at long last, explains Cronan Yu.

“Life beyond Cristiano Ronaldo is out there”, Italy’s Corriere dello Sport declared. It’s a headline that’s easy enough to print, of course, but in reality, many questioned whether such a scenario was plausible.

Ever since Juventus completed the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, a move which has been regarded as “the signing of the Century”, the news cycle has been dominated by the Portuguese star and the way his move would impact the Old Lady, to the extent that it would seem the Turin-based side have already secured an eighth-consecutive Scudetto without a ball having been kicked.

Nevertheless, heading into the new season off the back of a highly competitive 2017-18 in which a seemingly reinvigorated Serie A became the only one out of Europe’s top five leagues which did not turn into a one-horse race, there is renewed hope amongst a number of Italy’s giants that there is indeed life beyond Ronaldo, perhaps even more pertinently, life beyond the Bianconeri.

Inter are one such club.

It wasn’t too long ago that pundits and fans alike lamented the decline of Italian football where it was regarded, for much of the late 1900s anyway, as one of the strongest leagues in the world. Now though, Italy’s top-tier is known for its incapacity to attract world-class talents and its inability of clubs, as well as the league as a whole, to compete financially with heavyweights in England and France.

To put things into perspective, in 2011, the Nerazzurri were ranked in eighth place in the Deloitte Rich List. Recently, they were classified in 19th place having experienced a 27% downturn in overall revenue between the years 2010 and 2016.

On the other hand, whilst Manchester United increased its commercial revenue by 234% over the same period, Inter experienced a 4% growth of commercial revenue.

However, Suning’s investment since assuming control of the club back in 2016 has seen the club’s year-on-year losses greatly reduced, with predictions that Inter’s turnover will exceed €300m in the coming budget. Overall, with the club valued at €389m, the San Siro side are the 13th most valuable club overall, two places behind reigning Serie A champions Juventus.

The upturn in the club’s finances has translated into an ambitious, and ultimately fruitful, transfer market. The Milanese side pulled off one of the biggest coups this summer in signing Roma’s midfield maestro Radja Nainggolan for €38m, as well as acquiring Lautaro Martinez from Racing Club for €23m. The arrival of Kwawdo Asamoah, Stefan de Vrij and Sime Vrsaljko will help reinforce a side which conceded 30 goals last season, the most of the top four teams.

Meanwhile, the experience gained from last season, including their successful qualification for the Champions League this season, will be a significant boost with the Nerazzurri hopeful of competing on multiple fronts. The additional depth in the squad now following a busy transfer market would certainly aid Coach Luciano Spalletti in chasing an elusive Scudetto.

For much of last season, Spalletti stuck with his 4-2-3-1 formation, but with the personnel available, we could potentially see experimentation with a 3-4-2-1 system with new recruits Nainggolan and Martinez teaming up behind captain Mauro Icardi in attack.

Whilst there is a possibility that the club could become complacent following an ambitious summer transfer window as a result of the club’s improving financial state, Inter’s supporters can be proud of the progress that has been achieved. There is still work to be done on the pitch, of course, but Inter finally have the resources to bridge the gap and be considered title contenders.

Have your say...
Robberto, who mentioned race....?? Only the deeply incompetent immediately play the race card.. Juve, Inter and Milan belong in the Champions League. Maybe Lazio sometimes. The rest of you riffraff (if you even are Italian, with that double B in your name...) can fight it out in the Europa League. And no, I don’t think you’re “here to stay”....wait until De Laurentiis and Pallotta lose interest.....
on the 18th August, 2018 at 9:32pm
Zambrotta84 has a point. It’s not guaranteed that we can even compete for the scudetto, but this is the best transfer campaing we have for years. So, it’s hard not to be excited. I dare to say we’ve improved more than Juve, but they’re still stronger overall.

Vrsaljko is true quality, in the right environment. He’s world class in WC with Croatia. Juanfran is Atletico’s legend and his play is almost like tailor made for Simeone.

Keita was often the bench only because of the injury. We’ll see.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 5:29pm
@zambrotta84, the point is de vriz & asamoah will fit immensely with their experiences in seria and being perfectly matured which will push straight inter ingine into a strong one, how much that count i wish i could realise you. Joao mario, kondogbia, gabi were pure gold mine, they could be the next ronaldo or viera. Failing do not necessarrily mean that the path is wrong which is absolutely not. This is the same way legends were born. Scoring ten and assisting the same amount wasn't that bad for keita, just because of contractual issue lolito blackmarked him. For us having politano & keita in the right wing quite good, its pure 50 m in total. I know its non compareble to ronaldo. But we have parameters to maintain, even douglas costa would be costly to us. Fare enough, its 50/50 that we will be chasimg juve until the last breathe... I'm a optimistic by heart but sometimes it do get lost to reality.. :)
on the 18th August, 2018 at 2:57pm
1/2 at a top club. Take a guy like Vrisjalko, he was second choice at Atletico Madrid, behind Juanfran. Keita was often on the bench at Monaco, and wasn't even a regular starter at Lazio. I didn't say Motta was a bad player, I said I had my doubts when he joined Inter. He had struggled at Barca with injuries and the leap up between Geno and Inter is big. In hindsight, I was wrong. He had a great career afterward.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 1:39pm
@ spirit_willy, Being an international player for The Netherlands these days isn't really an accomplishment, is it? They missed the last two major tournaments. He's a pretty decent defender, but to call him a champion that's just way over the top. I'm not being a hater, I'm just being realistic. Sure Inter's transfer campaign was impressive, but people said the same thing when they splashed the cash on Kondogbia, Joao Mario and Gabigol. My point is that most of their signings haven't proven 2/2
on the 18th August, 2018 at 1:36pm
@zambrotta84, i could not help but wonder you found anything wrong that anynomous said. What he said is every football pundits consent. De vriz a netherlands international at 26 years of age who would cost 50 m no less is called winner which is sometimes synonyms with champion. So, you must be someone who give nothing away without a frown, aint it. I'm sure at that because you said you didn't like milito & motta coming to inter. For what? Motta was ex barca player still now playing for psg all these years and man! milito a hotshot striker, was top scorer before coming. What Inter did this year is out of this world, if man city & psg have atleast one mercato like this hundreds of million could saved. Roma did take a huge risk but i look at the names including nzonzi who just have to shore things up giving me goosebumps. Might they striked a huge bumper. If guardiola can do it at mancity managing four wingers in two slots, de francesco got chance!, oh man! monchi the gold digger!!
on the 18th August, 2018 at 11:49am
I love that all the top teams improved...even though I'm a juve fan....But for Inter back in Champions league ,the players will be pushed ...and the group stage will be interesting..
on the 18th August, 2018 at 11:04am
@ anonymous. I wouldn't as far as calling them quality, experienced winners. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Asamoah is the only new guy who as actually won anything. That being said, they didn't sign any dubious names, like AS Roma. Selling Naingolan for the amount they did might've seemed like a good deal for them at first, but when you spend the money on Nzonzi, who is average at best and just one year younger, when you already have 6 CMF is just crazy.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 8:30am
lets set how inter line-up should be in my view. Lets go for smart 4-3-3 handa, varsaljko, de vriz, skrinier/miranda, dalbert/asamoah, naingolan, holding role vecino/gagilardini, asamoah/brozovic, keita/politano, icardi/lautaro, perisic/lautaro.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 4:44pm
@zambrotta84 keep in mind that the transfers that came in are quality, experienced winners and will add depth to Inter. Inter added to the core of the team. Unlike Roma that transferred out some of their core players from last season. By adding without transferring out core players, Inter will not have any problems integrating the new players that already have plenty of serie A experience. They will not be forced to start all the new players all at once because they still have the solid core.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 3:44pm
@ King you're right. Pandev wasn't really a starter, but Milito was new too. So that's more or less five players. I'm not saying it's not possible, but they had more time to gel as serie a was pretty much on his knees back then. That being said, I remember being skeptical about Inter signing Milito & Motta and they turned out to be a success.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 11:16am
@zambrotta84 You know that Inter had 4 new starters in the treble season (Lucio, Snejder, Eto'o and Pandev) plus Thiago Motta who started many games?
on the 17th August, 2018 at 9:52am
Inter look strong this year! It may be a few yrs until anyone can really challenge Juve but Serie A is growing. The clubs themselves appear 2 b growing, they seem 2 have more money from TV deals, there's been more quality signings, Correa,Pastore,Vrasiljko,Ronaldo,Martinezn the squads r generally stronger.
I know San Siro is 2 b done up again,now if only AC, Inter n the rest could build or buy their own Stadia 2 improve gate receipts/hve full crowds as there is much more interest in Serie A now!
on the 17th August, 2018 at 8:13am
Inter have self destructed over the last few seasons because something has gone wrong. Injuries to key players, bad form, rigid tactics because of the lack of options. They have worked to improve the deficiencies and have cover for more than 1 position now. The reason they saved last season is because of the january inclusions. This inter will be a lot harder to work out.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 4:22am
Inter have improved in almost every area they struggled last season. There may be hype but there is no denying this, this season's team is clearly 1-2 goals better than last season. Inter finished 4th last season so this may not be enough to challenge for the top this season, but if they finish top 4, they will be able to spend money and attract top players again and improve further. Financially Suning have done a great job and stabilising the team and the results are coming
on the 17th August, 2018 at 4:19am
I don’t like being drown in euphoria, but Inter’s market & pre-season are so good that I can’t help but feel optimistic for the upcoming season. Even better, plenty loan with option deals will ensure the cost can be spread out in multiple financial years, while cutting cost low if the player doesn’t fulfill our expectation.
With Radja, Brozovic will improve tremendously as our regista.

Good to know about the growth in financial term. Now we’re ready to challenge with proper squad finally.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 11:45pm
Na the bigger the hype the bigger the crash. Inter will find a way to implode as usual.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 11:43pm
As an inter fan I definitely think we've strengthened the team, especially depth wise. I expect a 2nd or 3rd place finish but we all know how "pazza" inter is.. smh.. I still think the midfield could be improved though, still not impressed by Vecino or Gagliardini but we'll see. Keita and Politano are definite upgrades to candreva(zero goals last yr!). Not to mention Naingolaan is top quality(even if he is a party animal). De Vrij and Asa definitely improves the defense. FORZA INTER!!
on the 16th August, 2018 at 11:15pm
unfortunately there are people like CG who can't really stand that teams from the South compete with Juventus - at times snapping it cups as Napoli did. alas, typical provincial and racist mentality of juventus fans. Napoli is there to stay. Roma too.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 11:02pm
I’m a hardcore Juve fan. But I hope this article is correct. Serie A needs Inter and Milan to be great (with Juve, of course). If serie A is to be taken seriously, we can’t rely on the Roma’s and (especially) Napoli’s of this world. Eternal provincial teams with small team mentality. Well done, Inter. Hopefully the scudetto will be the three horse race it was when serie A dominated the world!!
on the 16th August, 2018 at 8:01pm
"its time for the two Milan clubs to wake up, serie A needs a champion other than juve. the juve monopoly is killing the serie a. we are not Bundesliga . or ligue 1"

No. Those two leagues have had more than one champion during the past seven years.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 6:15pm
I bet for Liverpool-Juventus 2018/19 CL finals
on the 16th August, 2018 at 5:54pm
@ Juulesy I don't know if that's true. Asamoah, De Vrij, Vrsaljko , Naingolan, and one out of Politano, Keita or Martinez will probably be starters. That's almost half the team.

Buffon did leave, but Scezncny played a lot of games last year. Buffon's locker room presence will be missed, though.

I agree that our weakest area, midfield, might not have been properly strengthened. I don't think any realistic options were available to do that, though, but that's a different discussion.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 3:44pm
the headlines should be like this, " inter finally gravitate themselves to the ground strongly ". here, what should be inter objectives, staying in top 3 for forthcoming years, failing it would cost speletti's job. Clear planning in cl, which should be qualify for second round for now. And proper rotation planning, this is where i challenge speletti to show that he can do it like allegri did for milan and does for inter. Thats the dossier a big coach must have, using the squad. Some coacher are best at fixing starting xi, which give immeadiate success. However, not using your full squad power sometimes cost you title. As for example, napoli lost it last year; for an ample of injury crisis. So, afterall ADL was right suing sarri for the losing the title, THAT CLOSE! ALAS!
on the 16th August, 2018 at 3:39pm
So Inter is an Italian team?? Give me a break. Let’s see how many mercenaries we can sign and lets all rejoice. What a shame that Italian football no longer exists.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 3:05pm
Zambrotta84 - yes they need time to get. But it's not like Juve and Milan don't need to. What Inter seem to have this season is stability. And, unlike us, their spine remains essentially the same as last season whereas with key players in Buffon and Higuain leaving us makes it more critical for us to gel quickly. Our weakest link last season is only strengthened by Can so far. The key is for Allegri to rotate.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 1:59pm
It would help if the VAR assistant actually looks at the screen this season.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 1:52pm
If they can somehow land Modric, they'll have the best squad they've had since the treble. Even without him it'll probably be their best since then, though not at that level.

Vrsaljko Skriniar De Vrij Asamoah
Brozovic Modric?? Nainggolan
Perisic Martinez

With the likes of D'Ambrosio, Miranda, Dalbert, Gagliardini, Vecino, Valero, Karamoh, Politano, Candreva, and Keita on the bench, they are covered far better than last season.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 1:43pm
Last season was the first season since Juve's first winning season that the chasing pack didn't fall away by xmas and that was only because Napoli purposely got itself knocked out of both European competitions and the copa Italia in order to compete. Serie A is many years away from being competitive again. Everyone was talking about Inter being back after the first few rounds last year and we know what happened after that. Same thing this year.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 12:52pm
Inter will become the 'new' Napoli for the next 5-7 years. Which means they will finish second. Good riddance of Napoli.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 11:58am

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