Sunday September 13 2020
Inter mustn't let Godin go so easily

Letting Diego Godin go to Cagliari practically for free after just one year at San Siro could be a mistake for Inter, insists Richard Hall.

Even at 34 years of age, Diego Godin has a lot to offer. When Cagliari confirmed they were in negotiations for the Uruguayan, there were no protests at Inter’s training ground. It has been generally accepted that, at his age and with his excessive salary, the natural thing to do it so let him move on, yet there is a nagging doubt that Inter should either kept him for one more year, or at least try to renegotiate his contract. He was an important feature in the latter half of the season and perhaps his influence was underrated.

The central defender only signed for the Nerazzurri last summer, on a free from Atletico Madrid. He was at the very least here to bolster an already solid back line and to pass on his wealth of experience to some of the younger players in the squad. This is a man who Gerard Pique described as ‘The centre-half of a generation’, and there was no doubt he could still play.

Promising to bring a Uruguayan spirit to the dressing room, Inter were certainly grittier this year and did not know when they were beaten. Godin made 23 Serie A appearances, five in the Champions League, six in the Europa League, and hardly put a foot wrong. In fact, towards the end of the campaign when experience was needed, Conte turned to him over the highly-rated Milan Skriniar. Stefan de Vrij was the player of the season and grew in confidence alongside him, while Alessandro Bastoni certainly developed a lot this season, and one has to believe, he took notes from Godin.

This influence that he has is not an assumption. Oscar Tabarez has spoken about the defender’s mental strength, saying he ‘represents the best of Uruguay,’ while Diego Forlan also called him a born leader. There are endless professionals who have nothing but admiration for what seems to be a humble and professional man, who takes great pride in the Uruguayan ‘garra charrua’ attitude.

One man who will not be looking forward to reuniting with him in Serie A is Luis Suarez. Whilst they were both in Spain, he of Diego: “Nothing thrills me less than playing Atletico. They're so annoying and Godin is a nuisance; he's always there next to me, he never leaves me alone.”

So why is he leaving? Firstly, his wages of approximately €5.5m are significant and Inter are desperately trying to offload players to fund Antonio Conte’s targets. Secondly, they are looking to other, younger centre-backs to replace Godin, but this is where there is some confusion.

Conte has publicly stated that it is now or never for the Scudetto at Inter. He has shunned purchasing the players like Sandro Tonali in order to bring in winners, fighters and characters. This includes Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov, 33 and 34 respectively. They will not have arrived on small wages either. That begs the question, why lose a man who performed well in the back line last term and knows the club now?

You do not have to like Conte’s strategy of bringing a bunch of hard working, experienced old professionals to Milan, but at least you can understand that he thinks that this bunch can help the talented, younger players topple Juventus, in turn making Andrea Pirlo uncool for the first time in his life. If that is the plan, so be it, but the departure of Godin seems strange because he can still offer so much.

Cagliari will certainly benefit from the move if it is completed, as they will be getting a leader on the pitch. The Nerazzurri will no doubt replace him, Marash Kumbulla seems to be the man in question and perhaps it works out all the same. Whether he stays or goes, Inter are a better club for having had him, even if it was for only a year.

For Godin himself, Sardinia could be the perfect place for him next. He once said, nothing is better than a small, modest team built on hard work and Cagliari are certainly that. He will however, need all the ‘garra charrua’ spirit can muster in this campaign.

Have your say...
He's too big a wage for too old a player. I personally don't think he's particularly versatile and he's quite slow with a moderate work rate so I don't see how Conte can justify him.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 4:08pm
Couldn’t agree more. Conte is one of the best coach out there, a proven winner that able to transform underachievers into champions, pretender into contender. But he’s a very very stubborn person, only know how to do things his way. He must be a headache to his sporting director.
But after all mediocre years that Inter had, and how we’re finally able to stand in equal term with Juve, I guess I’ll have to trust him.

Back to the topic, Godin is great but not irreplaceable. We’ll be fine.
on the 15th September, 2020 at 1:58pm
Inter didn't need many signings to improve on last season. After Hakimi a first choice lwb and then Tonali and Kumbulla was all they needed. Sacrifice Broz to bring in funds, sell Vecino and Gagliardini and make sure you offload Perisic and Naingollan. That's all they needed to do to make a competitive team for now and the years to come.
on the 15th September, 2020 at 11:26am
He wants experience so brings in Kolarov. Why then sell Godin who has just adapted to the back 3? Selling Ranochia is fine but that leaves them with Skriniar who is great but Conte doesn't like so won't play, Bastoni and De Vrij. I bet they'll end up getting Darmian to play RCB (Sigh). There's no forward planning it's just stop gap after stop gap. Luckily Lu-La will continue this season but don't be surprised if Conte forces Martinez out and replaces him with Giroud or Cavani
on the 15th September, 2020 at 11:11am
3. Why go after players like Alonso, Emerson and Kolarov. Fair enough Kolarov was cheap and can play LCB fine, I accept that but Alonso and Emerson offer nothing at all that Young doesn't already have. Show some ambition and go in for Gosens, Grimaldo, Reguilon, Kostic, Gaya or Telles. Any of those would be a big upgrade on what they currently have, Alonso is just another stop gap. Then there's the defence...
on the 15th September, 2020 at 11:08am
2. He'll end up forcing Eriksen out and probably Broz too leaving a midfield of Barella, Kante, Vidal which has no real creativity and 2 players in Vidal and Kante who are coming towards the end of their careers at the top. Eriksen is in his prime right now at 28 and should be made a focal point of the team. The full backs/wing backs are another area of concern. Hakimi was a master stroke but knowing Conte he'll find a reason not to play him but what about the Lwb?
on the 15th September, 2020 at 11:05am
1. I wish Conte walked tbh, his transfer policy is ludicrous with no long term planning at all. How many CM's do you need!? When Vidal signs they'll have Vidal, Nainggolan, Barella, Sensi, Vecino, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Eriksen. Of that list i'd say Vecino, Gagliardini and Nainggolan should be sold and Brozovic if Kante is signed but I would also argue what's the point in buying Vidal when you already have Radja who has many of the same characteristics....
on the 15th September, 2020 at 11:02am

So Kumbulla is going to Roma, but don't worry, maybe Conte would get Barzagli out of retirement for him
on the 14th September, 2020 at 9:23pm
Didn't Inter learn anything after signing the Manchester United Legend Vidic ? Well obviously they did not since they signed the Athletico Madrid Legend Godin......both are DEADWOOD and when they put in the Inter jersey their ability to suck skyrockets with the black and blue dye from their made in China jersey touching their skin. But don't worry because you have the Inter legend RANOCCHIA !!
on the 14th September, 2020 at 7:24pm
Certainly a strange one!! It’s not that long ago that Godin was viewed by players and fans as one of the best central defenders in the world!! I thought inter pulled off a great coup when they got a player of his experience and caliber for free. At 5 million surely his wages aren’t beyond a club like inter. I don’t think we, the public are getting the full picture on this one
on the 14th September, 2020 at 5:09pm
Bastoni is more than capable of pushing Godin to the bench permanently - so you've basiclaly got a benchwarmer earning 5.5mill. I say get rid. Save the wage bill. Promote young Italian defenders. Then bump up Lauturo's contract to see off all this Spanish interest.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 4:47pm
Serie A, don't become like MLS! Too many old, overpriced, worn-out players. If they were any good, teams like Bayern and Barca wouldn't let them walk... Barca knows: here, take Vidal for free, we want 22 year old Lautaro! Like living off someone else's table scraps.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 1:07pm
As others have said this sale would go against everything that Conte is seemingly trying to build. I also agree with @Milo, why can't Conte get the best out of the likes of Eriksen and Skriniar who are top players. Inter went from probably having a potential midfield of Barella, Tonali, Eriksen/Sensi that would last them for the next 5-10 years to possibly a midfield of Barella, Vidal, Kante who in 2-3 years will require major surgery when Vidal is too old and Kante's legs have gone. Shortermism
on the 14th September, 2020 at 10:45am
if he leaves inter, they obviously have a replacement in mind. Kumbulla the obvious choice for Conte and tbh a much scarier opponent then old man godin. Inter are obviously happy with the starting 11 and are looking at switching up and strengthening options off the bench.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 6:00am
Nice job Richard.

I couldn't agree more. If you want to win a big trophy, Godin is the type of guy you want on your squad.
I have always thought Vidal was a great player and one of those players that championship teams have.
Kolarov is another good signing.
You have to have a stacked roster to win the Scudetto and or Champions League.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 4:24am
Conte is one of the most annoying coaches in the world. All he does is whine and complain. Whines when he loses that the club didn't back him with 100's of millions in the transfer market, complains that his team isnt up tk standards, but yet here he goes and buys like 10 different wing backs. He only knows one system and can't change for his players and if you can't change for him then you're out. Prime example, eriksen who is probably the best player at inter and can join any team.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 4:00am
When he finally started to click, we want him to leave, because his wages are high?! Just release others who are unsalable and burden on budget! Adapting 3 men defense is not easy. Godin unlike many others just got it, and got it pretty good. Now why we want him go so cheaply I don't understand. I don't think his wages is the main culprit, I think problem is somewhere else. He will be a very crucial figure next season.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 3:09am
This summer's whole market is made about getting in experienced winning leaders to the squad..letting go of Godin is doing kinda exactly the opposite.
on the 14th September, 2020 at 12:02am

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