After a lacklustre 2014/15, Inter have splashed out on a number of players with Champions League experience, with Stevan Jovetic the new man in attack.
With a depth far better than in previous years, this could be a chance for both Jovetic and Inter to excel yet again.
Changes in defence
For this rejuvenation to happen and Jovetić to spearhead it, there needs to be changes across the Inter team, which there has been. The arrival of Miranda who starred in Atletico’s tremendous 2013/14 season in both Champions League and La Liga as well as Barça’s Montoya on loan shows a defence more experienced yet additionally youthful and talented than Inter have had for a while.
Juan Jesus, whether at centre-back or left-back has impressed even in last season’s disappointing campaign and has comfortably kept Nemanja Vidic out of the team, and could well forge as strong a partnership with Miranda as his compatriot previously enjoyed with Diego Godin at Atletico. It may take time but is possible as Miranda’s experience can blend well with Juan’s pace and alertness.
Murillo could fill in at centre-back too as he did on the weekend against Atlanta, with his positioning alongside Miranda making for a quite fearsome partnership.
Changes in midfield
Further up the pitch in midfield, the key singing has to be Geoffrey Kondogbia. Not only did this signal Inter’s ability to bring in new stars after they had impressed in the Champions League as Kondogbia did, but it additionally saw them beat fellow rebuilding side and city rivals, AC Milan. Kondogbia has multiple attributes ideal for central midfield: a domineering physical presence makes him able to battle, but has quick feet and an excellent shot should he push up.
With the likes of Gary Medel and Marcelo Brozović alongside him, opposition sides may struggle to cut through the middle against Inter, and may be forced wide instead, a side such as Juventus springs to mind. The loss of Kovacić to Real Madrid will cause a gap in my view, as he in front of Kondogbia, Medel and Brozović is no longer an option, but it does allow for more width.
Talk of Erik Lamela arriving or Hernanes going wide persists, and Inter do have other options.
Why Jovetic can thrive in Milan
As for Jovetić, he could thrive on this solid midfield backing mixed with creativity on the wings, if less so directly behind him. Arguably the best thing about Jovetić is his ability to play either as the sole striker for example in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 situation, or alongside another striker. Inter certainly have good strikers; Mauro Icardi and Rodrigo Palacio formed a good partnership at times last season, and as shown by his goal on Sunday, Jovetić can clearly shoot and contribute from outside the box too.
With support from wingers such as Lamela or even wing backs such as Santon and Montoya, Inter have a range of opinions. A source for midfield creativity is not always clear, but Jovetić or even Palacio could always drop back to work behind the striker.
Inter have a solid enough mix to better their 59 goals scored last season.
Much has been made of this being the closest Serie A season ever, with Inter cited as top four contenders by some, even title contenders by others. The lack of Champions or Europa League fixtures may assist them in doing so or even their city rivals AC, but I think Inter still lack the multitude of talent necessary to win the title.
Top four is certainly possible, but the loss of Kovacić does leave a central attacking midfield dearth. They will I believe, be tougher to beat thanks largely due to Miranda plus the maturing Juan Jesus while Montoya gives a greater attacking threat from full-back.
In attack they have three solid goal scorers in Palacio, Icardi and Jovetić, yet providing them with chances from around the pitch may be difficult.
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow Joshua on Twitter @JoshSalad365
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