There were no tears in Milan as Radja Nainggolan packed his bags and headed back to Cagliari, there was enough depth in the squad to cope.
That was the extent of Inter’s transfer window, as none came in and only one went out. Do not be fooled however, this silence was not a perfectly executed plan but rather a reaction to circumstance, after all Antonio Conte always wants more.
The inactivity was due to the uncertainty of ownership, the results of the pandemic and the lack of opportunity to allow the Nerazzurri to strike a deal. They did try in certain areas but matters on the pitch also influenced things.
Perhaps the most dramatic match of the season so far, came in the Derby Della Madonnina in the Coppa Italia. An incredibly eventful game had a finish worthy of the derbies majesty.
Christian Eriksen had not featured much under Conte and the speculation that he would leave in January was rife but as he stepped up to take the last minute free kick, everyone in black and blue was behind him.
As the ball nestled in the back of the Milan goal there was more than just a sense of relief. It felt as if the Nerazzurri coach was now willing to trust in the midfielder and he said after the game that he would not be leaving.
Now all the talk was of a tactical change were Eriksen would play a deeper role as a ‘regista’ rather than a ‘trequartista’.
There was of course talk that Inter would try to make some deals happen near to the end of the window. The Alexis Sanchez swap deal with Edin Dzeko fell through over wage disputes but this did not affect the Chilean who, like Eriksen played well in a 4-0 win over Benevento.
Other players like Ivan Perisic were linked to a late move away but nothing developed. The Nerazzurri only brought in 17-year-old Fabio Abiuso from Modena who will play in the youth team.
COVID has had a crippling effect on football teams finances all over the globe and Italy is no different. However, Inter have had other issues on top of this.
It had been reported that Sunning want to sell a majority stake of the club after the Chinese government stopped companies in their country linking their names to football clubs.
According to Sky Sport Italia, this led to British fund ‘BC Partners’ looking to acquire a proportion of the club. The report went on to state that as the valuation could not be agreed then BC Partners decided to end their interest in the deal putting the club back to square one.
There have been multiple reports on this over the last few weeks and they have been mixed. Whatever the situation, it is understandable that Sunning would not want to spend a great deal of money, until this is tied up and this perhaps is another reason that the Nerazzurri had a quiet window.
The final reason is that Inter have been playing well recently and the squad depth seems good enough for the team to challenge on the domestic front. Whilst Andrea Ranocchia, Aleksandar Kolarov and Roberto Gagliardini may not be universally popular, they continue to get minutes and Conte is showing that he will try and use his whole squad.
As mentioned, Eriksen had another good game against Benevento and even Andrea Pinamonti managed to get ten minutes. Inter face a tough task in the Coppa Italia against Juventus but other than the absence of Romelu Lukaku, Conte can hope to field a strong side.
Inter’s transfer window should not destabilise them as they have the tools in the toolbox and should be able to see the job through.
Conte is finally make use of everything he has and whilst there is no doubt that in the summer they will needed to replace players, this squad has enough depth to seriously challenge on two fronts.
With the circumstances surrounding Inter and football in general right now, the strategy is a sensible one and Inter can look forward to the rest of campaign knowing that they are one of the favourites.