In the summer 2017 Luciano Spalletti took over as the new manager of Internazionale, a surprising move considering his Roma side finished 2nd in Serie A with their highest points total ever.
For Inter, Spalletti’s arrival will be an effort to bring some stability to the club.
The Nerazzurri have gone through a number of managers in recent years following a short spell with Roberto Mancini (2014-2016) and briefer spells with Frank De Boer and Stefano Pioli last season.
The Italian manager brings with him a lot of experience. He started with Empoli, then managed Roma from 2005 -2009, before moving to Russia to take charge of Zenit St. Petersburg for 5 years.
He finally moved back to Roma in January 2016. Spalletti is no stranger to silverware either, winning 6 trophies to date (3 with both Zenit and Roma).
Tactical flexibility and a fine pre-season
In terms of his playing style Spalletti is very keen on a possession game and likes to play a packed midfield. The Italian deployed a 4-6-0 and 4 -5-1 system during his first spell in Rome. Striker Francesco Totti operated as a false 9 in both formations.
However he has changed tactics when needed over the years, and used a more conventional 4-2-3-1 system at Zenit; before operating a wing-back system in his last Roma spell with a 3-4-1-2 formation. So it’s fair to say he likes to vary his styles, and prefers using players that can adapt to more than one position.
What is clear about Spalletti; like Jose Mourinho, he likes to keep his team’s defense rock solid. Granted it is only preseason, but so far this summer Inter have scored seven goals and conceded just one in three games. They beat Bayern Munich and Chelsea along the way.
Recruits and targets
Spalletti is looking to bring in left fullback Dalbert Henrique from French club Nice; a player who can play both as a conventional fullback and as a wingback.
At approximately £27 million, the Brazilian won’t come cheap; yet Spalletti knows how to spot potential bargains. He has already bought Argentine striker Facundo Colidio from Boca Juniors for under £6m, along with central midfielder Borja Valero from Fiorentina for under £5m.
The only pricier addition to date has been Milan Skriniar; a £20 million central defender from Sampdoria. If winger Ivan Perisic does leave for Manchester United for the set asking price of £45m, than all the summer recruits will have been paid for.
Newer and leaner Inter
In terms of departures, Inter have sold or released 13 squad players to date. So it seems this is the newer, leaner, meaner Spalletti era at Internazionale.
Watch this space.
Written by Nicholas Behan
Follow Nicholas on Twitter @NicholasBehan
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