Wednesday April 3 2013
Strama: 'Palacio is a leader'

Andrea Stramaccioni confirms Rodrigo Palacio “has become a leader” for Inter after scoring both goals in their 2-0 win away to Sampdoria.

“It was important to win today and the lads knew that,” said the Coach after the rescheduled Serie A Week 29 fixture took them into joint fifth place.

“After Tottenham and Juventus, where we made steps forward in terms of performance, it was crucial to move forward in terms of result too. It is essential that we maintain consistency.”

Since Diego Milito’s season-ending knee injury, Palacio has been decisive and netted all of Inter’s last five Serie A goals.

“His was the first name I said to the President in pre-season, the first man we decided to focus on. His season is worth double, he has matured so much and become a leader for this team.

“We did not use Walter Samuel today because he is still recovering from a long lay-off and needs to be re-introduced gradually.

“Mateo Kovacic was the deep-lying playmaker I had been looking for, a player of great quality who Inter invested in. Overall Fredy Guarin’s performance was satisfying.”

Inter have been heavily linked with a summer bid for Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi, who forced a few saves out of Samir Handanovic today.

“He is one of the best young players in Serie A at the moment,” noted Stramaccioni.

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