Friday August 5 2016
Antonio Candreva is the perfect fit for Inter

The capture of Antonio Candreva from Lazio signals an important turning point in Inter’s restless summer, writes Richard Hall.

“I always wanted Inter,” Candreva told the club website, his smile still visible through his now ‘Pirlo-esque’ beard. He then went on to say the usual things expected of him, that he was happy, proud and wanted to please the fans. Those Nerazzurri faithful will no doubt also be pleased, as this signing seems not just like a solid statement on the pitch but also hinted at the way the club may move forward from now on. Roberto Mancini has his man, and it seems that this may be the first chink of light in what has been a bleak summer.

The fact that Candreva had met the Press on his arrival looking smart, sophisticated and perhaps three years younger than his 29 years, was reminiscent of Andrea Pirlo when he joined Juventus. Pirlo did this two years later in his life but his experience and game developed into one of the most successful periods of his career. Candreva, although a different type of player, does have some of the same attributes that could see him become an integral part of this Inter squad for years to come. He is the perfect compromise between the Suning Investment group (who want to sign for longevity) and for Mancini (who wants to win now).

The €22m (plus bonuses) fee is certainly worth it for a player who has over 300 appearances and 150 of these for Lazio. He has continued to develop into an adaptable player and whilst confessing that his preferred position is on the wing, he can slot in anywhere in the midfield. He has a superb range of passing and he is a dead-ball specialist with an eye for goal. He scored 10 times in Serie A last season and is capable of finding the net with his head, from distance as well as cutting inside into the box.

The tranfer itself is one that Mancini has been chasing all summer and the fact that the club have now signed off on Candreva, arguably means the ‘Mister’, The President and the Suning Group have now come to some agreement which reportedly hung on the Coach bringing in his own men to the squad. This perhaps also answers the Mauro Icardi debate, as only yesterday after countless rebuffing of improved Napoli offers, the Argentine striker wrote an open love letter to the Inter fans on social media. Despite Wanda Nara (his wife and agent) still trying to push for a new contract, the pieces of the puzzle do seem to suggest that there is a calm after the storm.

The Argentine striker certainly would benefit from the crossing ability Candreva would supply and with Ivan Perisic on the other wing (a man who also has vastly improved) the two could take the pressure off Icardi as being the soul supplier of goals. In fact Candreva, the player whose nickname was once ‘Il Timido’ (The shy one) is far from it in recent years and he has hit double figures in the last three campaigns, despite Lazio having mixed results.

Inter can now look forward with some optimism (at least in the short term) as the mercato seems to be taking shape. The speculation about players coming both in and out of the club has perhaps hampered their US Tour somewhat and abject displays against PSG, Bayern Munich and a draw against Estudiantes also did not leave much room for hope.

Whilst Candreva himself will not be the answer on his own, he could go a long way to being this on the pitch and in the dressing room, and his signing also proves that Inter can still hold some clout in this transfer window. The player described the move as bringing a ‘very strong emotion’ to him and it will to the fans. That emotion will be one of relief and perhaps even bring some belief in a project that many thought could be falling by the wayside.

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Have your say...
Candreva has certainly been fantastic over the last few seasons, but I'm not convinced this transfer is worth too much hype. He's 29, he's injury prone, he cost €22m and there's been pretty clear evidence of him declining over the past couple of seasons. He'll be good for Inter, but not great. I was personally happy that we (i.e. Napoli) didn't go for him in the end.
on the 16th August, 2016 at 6:21am

Thankfully Mancini is gone. Melo played surprisingly well last season. He still has all the qualities and still lacks all the temperament, as well as mentality.

Bangz is a true building CM, just as someone else was requesting (better than Biglia).

Jovetic is young and is one of the best younger talents in the world. This is his year to make the jump. Someone suggested him as a backup...would be crazy.

I think that Candreva complicates things..unless 3-5-2/3-4-3 (De Boer is Dutch)?
on the 8th August, 2016 at 5:47pm
for me solid team now, acording to names we are at the same level as roma and napoli.
idealy i hope for one more wing player as perisic and candreva (younger version), who can run-defend, cross and score (biabiany is not good enought)and one CB as we "only" have 2. leave should 100% melo and jovetic, if we can buy someone else.

on the 6th August, 2016 at 9:58pm
@ Me

I never got the impression last season that Mancini had come to think of Kondogbia as a defensive midfielder. He still either believes he's the next Pogba, or still won't let go of the idea of playing two holding midfielders. So he won't play him alongside Banega in a two man central midfield. Alas, one of Melo and Medel will play in the majority of Inter's games next season. Sad but true. Most likely Banega will play in the advanced position in a midfield three.
on the 6th August, 2016 at 7:58pm
The Anti-Juve? Let's get real! Roma and Napoli have been saying that for two or three seasons and with better squads than the one Inter currently has. Where is the depth? What happens if/when a key player goes down? Who will cover his place and deliver the goods? I'm looking at the squad and I see no one besides the ones in the 11. Inter is in the same spot as last season, competing with La Viola for 4th, maybe third, but I really, really doubt it.
on the 6th August, 2016 at 5:51pm
You guys are hilarious. Suddenly with the signing of Candreva Inter is a CL Guarantee? Come on now, He's a fairly solid player, but he will not carry your team on his shoulders. A club like Inter should never lose 6-1 to Spurs, even in pre-season, even with a younger line up in the second half. The squad has no cohesion, no team spirit, and no identity. When you look at the situation objectively it's the obvious truth.
on the 6th August, 2016 at 5:47pm
Has to be one of the most daunting pre-seasons witnessed by a fan. Candreva alone cant help this team, although I think he will come in good use on right flank. We're going to need a coach with more than 1 idea of how to play. We just conceded over 10 goals in 2 games. Pre-season aside, with the talent we have we should not be getting smashed by bayern reserves or the Spurs. This team cant even lose with dignity. #Manciout now or when 15 points adrift 3rd place?
on the 5th August, 2016 at 10:23pm
Some good players on that club, feel bad for em kind of. Going to need a lot more goals this season...Defense looks in shambles this so far.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 8:49pm
I spoke too soon!

Wish our captain starts behaving like a captain and playing like a captain because he was poor today, and the fact he can't even control his wife means he is not fit to be our captain, and the preseason is a reflection of this and Mancini's whiny attitude.

Suning have been less than impressive, saying they'd sign Joao Mario (who I don't rate but nonetheless) but failing & Gabriel Jesus who we should have bought (and €40m will seem a bargain in a year or 2) but failed to get
on the 5th August, 2016 at 6:54pm
I chalk Inter's poor/boring performances last season off to Mancini's passive style & constant tinkering. I believe that Inter have a decent squad & should be doing much better than what they have been doing. I'm worried that Candreva's (one of Italy's best players) game will go backwards under Mancini. I'm struggling to think of one Inter player that has improved whilst playing for the former City manager.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 6:37pm
Watching Inter Vs Spurs I'm optimistic, Banega and Candreva completes the attack with Perisic and Icardi, and Biabany, Jovetic and Eder (if they stay) give us good alternatives, shame we missed out on Gabriel Jesus, who looks phenomenal, but Gabigol looks good too.

Defensively we need to improve; I like how Kon, Broz and Ban are rotating but as soon as we lose the ball the organisation has to improve; and Danilo and Ansaldi look ok but our scouts have to do better!
on the 5th August, 2016 at 5:08pm
Great acquisition, just what Inter needed. If the rumours about Oscar and Gabigol are true as well then Inter will be the Anti Juve. Solid spine and finally a bit of flair going forward.


Nagatomo, Murillo, Miranda, Ansaldi/Erkin

Oscar, Banega, Kondogbia

Candreva, Icardi, Perisic

My only reservation would be a lack of Italian players, but I guess they're not called Internazionale for nothing
on the 5th August, 2016 at 2:55pm
Well if Azzkikr says Antonio is a great upgrade, then all INTER fans should relax. Great signing, the future seems bright once again after The 2010 Treble.

If we could somehow add that missing link [passing/building DM] identified as Lucas Biglia, our starting line-up would be complete. Replacing Melo should be a priority.

I am certain Candreva will help us finish top3 and reach UCL - our main objective. Barbosa is just an investment for the future, so no need to panic, we are almost set.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 2:47pm
See, Candreva could be perfect. Him on one side, Perisic on the other. Then have Kondogbia and Banega in the middle, Jovetic and (for now) Icardi up top.

Are they going to play a flat 4-4-2? Or are they going to bring Jovetic too deep and play 4-2-3-1? 4-2-3-1 with Candreva (who is a genuine right-sided midfielder) and Perisic on the other lacks the width needed for it.

A team like Inter should want world-class. Banega is, but you need more of it. Alongside Miranda, too.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 2:42pm
Is Candreva a great player? No.

Is he a big improvement over the likes of Palacio, Ljajic, and Biabiany that we used on the right wing? Absolutely.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 2:41pm
Great signing. Exactly what the team needed on that wing - not only is he a good dribbler who can create chances and score goals, he's also hard working and covers well defensively. I'd say he's very comparable to Perisic on the left wing who really came into his own during the second half of last season.

With all his experience in Serie A he should hit the ground running from the start.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 1:32pm
Will still not finish in top 3! Poor defence and poor midfield. They just have to hope handonovic does not get injured or suspended. Inter are still garbage.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 12:51pm
Great pickup by inter! Clear second best starting 11 in Italy with candreva, banega and ansaldi slotting into the problem areas of last season. Rumours of one more signing too. Brozovic gets to go back to cm and with the service coming icardi will go back to 25+ goals next season. Great signs for the future!
on the 5th August, 2016 at 12:33pm
Banega and Candreva are quality additions.

People forget that Juve is missing Marchisio for a while and if Pogba goes things dont look so good there.

But the biggest issue with Inter is the manager of course.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 12:19pm
Candreva should be a fairly big upgrade to the variety of garbage players Inter had playing on the right wing last season.

An attacking upgrade that severly needed considering Inter only managed to score 50 goals last season. I dont think it will improve much though, the backups in Jovetic, Eder and Grandpalacio are awful players who cant hit a barn door from 1m away.

Inter are still significantly behind Napoli and Roma. Especially Inters midfield and fullbacks are lacking greatly.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 10:40am

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