Saturday January 5 2019
Inter must make more of academy

If Inter want to flourish in future, Richard Hall warns they must start to make more of their impressive youth academy products.

Beppe Marotta has now certainly got his Armani slip-on shoes well under his new desk in Milan and, according to the latest reports, he has a plan to focus on a mixture of youth and high-profile signings. The strategy will take Inter on to the next step and could also elevate them to Europe’s elite.

Of course, it’s one thing to embrace young talent in general and another to focus on the players coming through from their own academy. This is important, as whilst the Nerazzurri have never been afraid to ‘splash the lire’ or now the Euros, they have struggled to make the best of their excellent academy.

Back in 2017, there was a chance that Inter were going to look at their own Primavera for inspiration after they won the youth title. Luciano Spalletti certainly used words to that effect when he claimed that it was the first team who needed to look at them for a change and take pride in the youth team’s success. This side included Ionut Radu, Zinho Vanheusden, Ryan Nolan, Senna Miangue, Federico Valietti, Xian Emmers, Andrea Pinamonti amongst others who all showed promise.

Some like Emmers, have gone down the leagues to get game time (Cremonese), with players such as Radu (Genoa) and Pinamonti (Frosinone) performing well on loan in Serie A. Many like Ryan Nolan are still plying their trade with the reserves, whilst Miangue is now with Standard Liege and has moved on (on loan after being sold to Cagliari).

If Inter can mix the best of this bunch and the ones that follow with more expensive youthful players, then the plan may start to look more long-term. For many months now, the Italian media has been reporting that Nicolò Barella could be the Nerazzurri’s next big signing and arguably this could be a wiser investment that the now 33-year-old Luka Modric. Barella may cost up to €50m and is also wanted by Chelsea, but Modric would not be cheap either, with his wages included.

There is room for more ‘mature’ players or ‘gentlemen of experience’, should we say. That was a mix Marotta got right at Juventus and all the youthful talent that they brought in had the older hands such as Gigi Buffon to look up to. These were still players of quality however, some of the best in their trade, and the jury would still be out as to whether the likes of Antonio Candreva and Andrea Ranocchia could provide this guidance. Admittedly, Ivan Perisic and Joao Miranda would go a little further to helping this argument, but age is not the only qualifier for being an elder statesman.

Inter have for many years promised to bring through youth and have failed. After 2010, when Marco Branca decided that the Treble winners represented the start of an era and not the end, an entire youth team filled with promise was overlooked as the likes of Ivan Cordoba, Cristian Chivu and others simply got slower and more exposed. There were of course players like Diego Milito, Javier Zanetti and Julio Cesar, just to name a few, who could have helped a generation through, but instead the NextGen winners coached by Andrea Stramaccioni, were cast aside and eventually dispersed, many making good careers in Europe’s top divisions.

Marotta’s involvement in this plan does offer a key element of difference from the past. Inter have often thrown random players like Assane Gnoukouri into the Derby Della Madonnina for example and let them sink or swim. With the template already showing that it was a component (as were free transfers for example) of Juventus’s success, then Inter just may start to look like they have an identity and what’s more, a plan.

Have your say...

Do you know why Agnelli doesn't extend his contract with Juve? It's because he is too heavily dependant on Paratici. Without Paratici, there would be no Pirlo, Tevez, Pogba playing for Juve. Not to mention Marotta's policy is a joke. Without him, Juve would get Verratti and still keep our players like Vidal and Pogba in the team. Fortunately, Juve can hold their star players after his departure, Alex Sandro for example.This is a hard truth you need to swallow: Marotta is a MEDIOCRE.
on the 9th January, 2019 at 4:25am
I knew the haters would flood this post. Here's the deal, Inter management after treble made bad decisions. But more recently, Ausilio, even with some mistakes, has proved to be valuable. Suning is showing they are reliable owners who are fixing the debt from the Moratti spending years, Marotta is now bringing in winning experience and we are about to leave the Settlement Agreement. Our youth system produces talents that we have been using as payment, but we won't need to do that anymore.
on the 8th January, 2019 at 8:38pm
How good can inter youth be if Inter decided to invest in Junk like like Schelotto, Ranocchia, Pereyra, Belfodil, Kuzmanovic, Rocchi, Mudinguay, Jonathan, Nagatomo, Gabi-one-gol, Kondogbia, Forlan, Vidic, Zarate instead of starting guys like Zaniolo, Benassi, Duncan, Obi, Poli, Pinamonti, Caldirola, Di Marco, Karamoh..... come to think of it Inter youth is not much better anyways.
on the 7th January, 2019 at 7:07pm
Juventus having players like Buffon, Barzagli,Pirlo and Chiellini to help the young players grow up. But who does Inter have? The last one is Zanetti,Milito and Cesar and since then Inter lost their soul. Inter should not buy Ninja and De Vrij especially the latter, last season’s last game proved a blot on his escutcheon. Also the move for Juda Figo was very bad.
on the 6th January, 2019 at 9:59am
Firstly, Inter youth players are often over hyped by the fans.Of Scrammaccioni's kids, none are the quality of player that Inter require. Secondly, in the last two years Inter has been forced to sell youth players due to corrupt Platini's farcical fair play which is now luckily being seen in reasonable circles for what it is - a set of rules to maintain the status quo with special emphasis on hurting the Milan clubs while ignoring what Man City and PSG, and others do.
on the 6th January, 2019 at 8:56am
INTER done a great mistake in selling the little champs like zaniolo and the others. youth section is nursery and has little to do with increasing the budget but the opposites. what happened happened,focus should be on producing homegrown talents for future and promise them of having first team oppurtunity for three players every seasion. thats how a squad become of 22 players!.Barca also sell youth players but not before test drive. A team like ours focas should shifted in two.A full lanfscape.
on the 5th January, 2019 at 4:51pm
where are those next gen players now the best of the bunch was duncan and benassi the rest drifted off into mediocrity. we are talking about the like of kouame biraghi balotelli bonucci as players to come out of the academy that showed real quality.

Nothing wrong with using your youth academy providing it produces enough quality players when it comes down it 1 or 2 players should have been given game over over the older players but to replace a large part of a treble winning team no chance.
on the 5th January, 2019 at 1:41pm

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