This upcoming season is sure to be a big season for many clubs around the whole of Europe, none more so than the big spenders Inter Milan. Another summer of vast change at the Milan club has resulted in the club adding furthermore to what was already deemed a highly expansive squad, add in the changes at the top of the club and the managerial change from the summer, and it has to be said already that this could really be considered a make or break season for the Nerazzurri. The last five or so years has seen Internazionale fall behind clubs like Napoli, Roma and even Fiorentina as the big hitters of Italian football, now however through the money spent and glut of talent within this current squad Inter Milan really need to be pushing above their closest rivals AC Milan and pushing aside Roma and Napoli to compete for the top honour in Italian football with rivals Juventus.
In football they often say that money does not buy success, however it really goes a long way to making an impact in the game, look at the money currently in the English Premier League, commercially now they are the biggest draw in world football however with the clubs in Europe being enriched with takeovers from investors especially from the Far East they are all looking to compete on the worldwide scale. Inter Milan are no different, this summer seen Chinese retailers Suning Commerce Group take over a 70% stake of the club, furthermore adding even more riches at the disposal of the manager. The infrastructure of clubs like Sassuolo FC is admired very fondly from football fans across Europe especially when we watch the money that is being thrown around by the clubs around Europe in the current financial climate in football. Somehow the Nerazzurri need to integrate the same type of spirit seen by the clubs like Sassuolo and Nice with their own high wage players and expansive group. The influx of players arriving at the San Siro over the last two summers is now a Financial Fair Play issue so this is an indicator of just how much money has been spent by the club in the last two summer windows, this as a result could lead to some signings not available to play in the upcoming Europa League campaign.
During the summer we seen a managerial change at the club, the popular manager Roberto Mancini was sacked by the Chinese investors following an embarrassing 6-1 pre-season defeat by a Tottenham side still missing some of their top players. The dismissal was as a result of a dispute between Mancini and the new owners, following this then comes the arrival of Dutchman Frank De Boer. The appointment of De Boer happened very quickly, and despite winning four Eredevisie titles in a row the appointment has come with the doubters both fans and media alike. De Boer was the first manager to achieve the title success run in Holland, but this is a different stage entirely, the pressure of managing in Milan itself is massive, add in the expectation now of the club and the talent available to him, it looks a massive job for a manager who knows no other league apart from his own native country in a management scale. From looking in at Italian football Roberto Mancini was brilliant for the league and with his two spells at the Nerazzurri was a big favourite amongst the fans, it looks a big call at this early stage to not scout around for a manager who perhaps could have taken the pressure of the club at this current stage. From the first two games of the season, it already looks a big task for De Boer, a defeat away at Chievo in the first game and a home draw to last season strugglers Palermo has not been a bold statement start by the club. De Boer has looked an uninspired onlooker from his seat in both games adding to the two disappointing results. This Saturday will see Inter Milan travel to Serie A newcomers Pescara, where a win looks already a must for De Boer and his team.
The squad that De Boer has at his disposal is richly talented and a lot of the players they have managed to acquire in the last two summers have been chased by a number of high profile clubs. The squad is large so the added Europa League fixtures should not an issue to the group, but developing a team spirit may be difficult, especially with the gulf in wage differences throughout the squad. Captain Mauro Icardi was a highly sought after figure during the summer, which led to a reported 40% increase to his current wage. Players arrived at the San Siro this summer that in truth along with a vast amount of the squad before their arrival could get in to the top clubs around Europe. Ever Banega arrived as a free agent this summer from serial Europa League winners Sevilla, in truth this signing set the bar in terms of the quality of player who would arrive at the club. Joining Banega came the underrated and ever consistent Antonio Candreva from Lazio for a fee to be around the 18 million mark, European Championship winner Joao Mario arrived for a rather overpriced 34 million despite the attentions of the elite clubs from England, and the highly talented highly sought after Brazilian Gabriel Barbosa arrived for a fee expected to be around 25 million from Santos. These were the high profile arrivals to arrive this summer, add these players to a group that already has the quality names of Mauro Icardi, Eder, Marcelo Brozović, Miranda, Ivan Perišić, Stevan Jovetić, Gary Medel, Geoffrey Kondogbia and there are many others and this is a squad that on paper is not far off the current Juventus squad.
The big factor for De Boer and Inter Milan this season could very well be the form of the two wide men Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perišić. Both players are international footballers and in any terms could play for the majority of clubs playing in the Champions League this season; Candreva is the model professional with such a high work rate and a fantastic end product, Perišić is that player for Inter Milan who can change games in an instant, coming inside, a great direct runner with the ball at his feet, technically gifted on the edge of the opposition penalty box and maybe not so well known he is very gifted in the air. The question might just be asked where Joao Mario and Gabriel Jesus fit in to the strongest Inter Milan team? On ability they merely make the bench if I was to pick the strongest team, which does not reflect the money they spent on the two players.
One thing is for sure is that the Serie A is really moving back among the elite leagues of European football and in time may get their four Champions League spot back. This season will be very interesting and could very well be another season of disappointment and nearly moments for the fans of the Nerazzurri. Does Frank De Boer last the season, my money would say no, but it would be good for him to get the time to try and make a statement at the San Siro giants.