Saturday July 11 2020
Experience isn't everything for Inter

Antonio Conte and Inter are so focused on experienced names, they risk losing sight of the youthful potential at their disposal, warns Richard Hall.

The message from Antonio Conte after dropping points against Bologna and Verona was always the same – Inter need more experienced players in their ranks. His obsession with bringing in ready-made champions means the Nerazzurri could once again waste the talent at their disposal and overlook youthful potential to chase after a veteran name.

The club already appeased him by snapping up Victor Moses and Ashley Young in January, to join fellow Premier League ex-pat Alexis Sanchez at San Siro. These are low-cost options on loan, but are they the kinds of player Inter should be investing in for next season?

Has Moses done enough to earn a place at the club? With seven appearances, four off the bench, it is understandable to keep him until the end of the campaign, but not beyond. The same has to be said of Alexis Sanchez, as whilst he shone against Brescia, his performances certainly would not justify the enormous wages they’d have to pay if he were to sign permanently from Manchester United.

Inter have a relatively young squad and it is understandable that the coach wants experience around the players, but as has been the case in the past, there are youth products that shouldn’t be overlooked. Sebastiano Esposito is a talented striker who could play a very big part in Inter’s future. His current deal runs out in 2022 and Inter are looking to extend his contract until 2025. It is understandable that Conte needs back-up for Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku, and an experienced striker should be brought in, but it would be criminal to sacrifice Esposito’s chances by bringing in two forwards.

Ionut Radu will also return to Milan after spending the season on loan with Genoa. He is developing well, or at least he was until Matteo Perin took his gloves in January, and has been talked of as replacing Samir Handanovic at some point, so his inclusion next season and perhaps in the Coppa Italia is a ready-made solution. Midfielder Lucien Agoume is another bright young thing who has started to break through and could fill a spot in midfield, even as just a squad player.

Finally, there is Andrea Pinamonti, who was purchased by Genoa for €18m last summer. Inter have a gentlemen’s agreement that they can buy him back for €21m at the end of the season if they so wish and it would be wise of them to do so. In all competitions the 21-year-old has scored seven times in 25 games and has shown so much promise that Juventus are now trying to sign him. It would be remiss if the Nerazzurri to allow this happen when they are looking to develop a young, talented squad with a heavy Italian influence.

It is true that Inter and the Suning Group can afford to have a busy summer, but that does not mean they should not see what is under their noses. They have done this before and examples of Christian Kouame and especially Nicolò Zaniolo are just a few of the many they have let slip out of their academies, then watched their exceptional careers flourish elsewhere. It is understandable that Conte wants players ready to win and players with experience he can trust, but the opportunity is here to have a team with a young Italian core of Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolò Barella, potentially Sandro Tonali and Sebastiano Esposito.

Inter are certainly on the right track, but the window should not simply be about new faces. They have young, talented players who want to be at the club and are hungry to impress. Admittedly, Conte may be focusing simply on bringing the Scudetto to Milan and therefore is looking for seasoned winners to supplement his squad, but the project is bigger than this. To go for Scudetti in the future, they need to secure what they have in front of them.

Have your say...

Perfect example, he was a prodigy at 19-21, I remember him scoring 4 goals in 1 game against Milan. Now he's 25 and still playing for a mid table team and the chances of him reaching his full potential are slim to none. I fear Chiesa is going the same way, at 22 he should be improving year on year instead this season he has stagnated or gone backwards. If he goes to Juve he won't be a started for another season or 2 and then all of a sudden he's 24/25 and hasn't kicked on.
on the 14th July, 2020 at 8:53am
@Luca: Berardi !
on the 13th July, 2020 at 7:46pm

I didn't mean to say the previous line. Sorry.
on the 13th July, 2020 at 7:46pm
@arsene Who.

The one missing the point here is you. Inter were already on a downward spiral before the corona break, having lost two in a row, playing terrible football and looking exhausted. Inter had also drawn alot of matches the weeks before including against the likes of Cagliari and lecce.

The post-Christmas hangover for inter was in full effect, as usual.

So saying inter would be better if the break hadnt happened makes no sense since they were already poor before the break. logic 101.
on the 13th July, 2020 at 8:33am
@United States of Totti

I hear you. We are on the same page more or less. At least you do understand that Covid affected the Serie A in many ways. Some folks here don't get it.

To answer your question about Roma and Brescia.
I wasn't surprised much. I would be surprised if Juve lost to Brescia. The only Italian club that shows consistency on a yearly basis is Juventus. Hate them or love them.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 9:24pm
To answer you;
MY EXECTATIONS for after break were:
1. Juve, Inter, Roma, Napoli would gain tremendously from break (get injured players back, gel more & dominate with their deep squads playing every 3 days with 5 subs eligible)
2. Lazio would falter. Atalanta, (although without European games), would drop pace & points. Milan would battle it out with Verona, Parma for seventh...

I was right on some, & wrong on others.
Milan entered AMAZING FORM. Atalanta play as OBSESSED. Roma is DISGRACE.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 6:27pm
Also Arsene Who?
Did YOU expect Juve to lose in 60th minute of Milan game?

1. EVERY JUVE FAN ACKNOWLEDGES that Juve plays much better after the Coppa final.

2. EVERY ROMA FAN IS DISAPPOINTED by our team's performances. (Now, I read books while watching Roma play, while my bro doesn't even watch their games anymore.)

Even STATS prove what I'm telling you!

Did you SERIOUSLY expected Roma to lose to Brescia??
Maybe you follow Serie A games on teletext, I have no other explanation...
on the 12th July, 2020 at 6:10pm
@Arsene Who?
I already said 19/20 Championship is DISTORTED:
Clubs suddenly don't have mid-week European obligations.
Teams build to play once per week have to play 3 times!!!
Injured players that would miss season's end returned.
After restart, some teams played 3 times before others played even once..!

Juve plays BETTER after break.
Roma plays WORSE.
(Milan plays better, Lazio plays worse...)
FACT. Ask Juve & Roma fans.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 5:37pm
@United States of Totti
It is all good on my sheet, son.
Did you expect Juve to lose to Milan? Did you expect Roma to win the two previous games? Do expect Atalanta to continue the winning streak?
on the 12th July, 2020 at 3:41pm
@Azzkikr, you are missing the point again, son.

Maybe Inter was the club that "looked to benefit from having a break" but they didn't, which stipulates my point - the Covid lockdown broke some clubs and elevated the others.

Never underestimate the effect that outer adversities might have on the inner condition of an individual or collective mentality.

You are welcome, rookie.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 3:33pm
Arsene Who?
"Juve lost"? "Roma began winning unexpectedly"?
You got 2 out of 4 wrong.

After break, Roma lost against Milan, Napoli & even Udinese!
They barely overturned Samp, had ref's help against Parma, & beat last-placed Brescia.
Roma couldn't play worse.

Juve won all their games, playing much better (not barely winning by a goal like before). They only lost to Milan who, for 30 minutes, went "Super Saiyan" on them & now drew against Atalanta, the BEST Serie A team.

Inter stayed Inter.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 12:54pm
Inter are going in the right direction, but signing ex-epl stop-gaps won't help much.

Hakimi should be an improvement. They need similar for the LWB spot too, and to keep Martinez.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 9:21am
The covid break has been tough on inter. You think inter is choosing to start or even play gagliardini, Valero, ranocchia? Brozovic, Sensi, Barella have all been out injured, most of these guys didn’t play at all at the start of the season. What happened then? Inter was winning! Surprise surprise.. my main concern is the defence. Bastoni has proved to be a star youngster, but de vrij and skriniar don’t play as well in a back 3. They are world class as a cb pair though!
on the 12th July, 2020 at 1:46am
yeah that great inter youth academy which has produced so many players lol. every players worth talking about had one probably 2 clubs before joining inter primavera zaniolo, bonucci, kouame being obvious example. if you are going to have a model of buying high quality youngsters instead of producing them it is understandable that they would leave.

equally inter management should consider iq testing if they don't try to bring back salcedo and radu those guys are quality.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 9:55pm
@Firetruck, you are talking nonsense. Listen to me. Covid shifted the mentality of several clubs. Juve lost. Lazio lost a few in a row. Milan and Roma began winning unexpectadly. Atalanta may still lose. None of these clubs are playing in the same way as pre-Covid. You know it is true.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 9:46pm
And it's not just in England, Bayern play Davies every game at 19, Dortmund have Sancho and Haaland and loads of others, Barca play Fati, Madrid play Vincius and Rodrigo, PSG play Mbappe. Serie A needs to give youth more of a chance instead of hanging on to average older players who are clearly past it. Surely there's a youth team player at Inter who's as good as a 35 year old Valero
on the 11th July, 2020 at 5:53pm
Apart from Donnarumma and Zaniolo name a young Italian that has played regular football for one of the top sides in the league before the age of 20 in the last 5 seasons. Chiesa is already 22 and yet to really make the jump to the next level and he's a classic case of good youngsters staying with smaller clubs for too long before they get a chance to play alongside world class players day in day out at the biggest clubs
on the 11th July, 2020 at 5:47pm
Slightly off topic but giving youth a chance in general is a big problem in Italian football and it's resulted in hardly any world class players coming through for Italy in recent years. Look at England who have had Trent playing week in week out for 2 years now at the best team in the league, Greenwood is 18 and starring for United, Foden is now playing regularly for City, Saka starts for Arsenal at the age of 18, Reece James plays for chelsea at 19. All regulars for the biggest clubs.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 5:43pm
He deserves time to get the players in that suit his system as the players in the current squad don't suit the 3-5-2. With this in mind you do have to question his flexibility though. Why couldn't he play a different formation until the players he wanted came in. Young, Moses, Candreva, Biraghi, Asamoah are all nowhere near good enough for the wing back positions. The right side has already been addressed with a huge upgrade, now for the left.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 5:26pm
@Arsene Who, no need for personal attacks little kid.

Regardless though, your reply highlights your own stupidity and ignorance more than anything.

If any team at the time, looked to benefit from having a break it was Inter. They had just lost 2 games in a row vs Rube and Lazio and looked exhausted in every way.

Pretty hilarious to blame the Covid break on Inters bad current form.

Its fine that you disagree about Conte, but please dont post rubbish like that again.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 4:49pm
Why he isn't sack yet? How many wins he failed to turn into three points?? Starting Valero even invalid in sporting science! Too many naive decisions. He is anti INTER i get it. Though his profile match with us but not the mentality. We're hard earner, juve a easy one. That's why he cost us the title....
on the 11th July, 2020 at 2:31pm
Covid break?? I'll tell you what the Covid break has done... it has exposed who are the real losers. I mean if Juve and Atalanta can get back to winning then why can the other losers? Even Milan have picked it up. If I were Conte I'd go all out on Europa League. It would be awesome for them to meet Man Utd, flatten them and shut the EPL pundits up (they are acting like Man Utd already won it)
on the 11th July, 2020 at 12:12pm
You are talking rubbish @Azzkikr! If it wasn't for the bloody Covid break you would have sung a different song now. Take a hike, rookie.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 10:49am
Inter management would do well to support Conte. He is their ticket out.
Personally, I would not be too upset if Conte was fired in a classic pazza inter move.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 10:17am
Pinamonti would be the perfect 3rd choice striker behind Lu-La. He wouldn't cost a lot, he is only 22 years old so has room for growth but has played enough Serie A games now to know the league well. He's also not going to upset the apple cart and demand a starting role week in week out. Inter need to stick with Conte for at the very least another year before he can implement his tactics and get the players he wants. Hakimi will change a lot and Kostic would be ideal for the left.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 10:02am
Why is anyone surprised Conte asks for different players (skills/experience) than the ones he has?

Conte is a man-manager, not a tactical expert. He can ignite the passion in a group and get them to perform under pressure (Euro 2016), but any guy (the Benfica/the Galatasaray coach) who throws him a curveball winds up winning against him.

As I pointed out previously & mentioned also by Azzkikr, Conte uses antediluvian tactics and refuses to adapt, which is why he consistently fails in Europe.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 6:41am
Inters problem isnt lack of experience, its Contes limitations and stubbornness as a coach.

Conte wants his players to adapt to his tactics regardless if they have the characteristics for it, rather than adapting his tactics based on the strengths and types of players he has. This shows that Conte isnt and will never be a top coach. He is Roberto Mancini 2.0.

His 352 outdated and most of Inters team simply doesnt fit in a 352, yet he forces it upon them because he doesnt know what else to do.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 4:32am

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