Here we go again, another season is upon us, my fourth with Inter and our first has defending champions. I am always weary in the close system with the vultures hovering to unsettle our players and take them away from our club, and this summer as been no different I have been able to fend off bids for Telles, Berardi, Zivkovic and Neves. Unfortunately though I have lost one of my key players (See Below). Yuto Nagatomo will continue with the captains arm band whist Ruben Neves steps up to vice captain. The board have disclosed their expectations for the coming season and as expected they have raised the bar: they want us to reach the semi final of the Champions League whilst winning Serie A.
We have had a big loss in Geoffrey Kondogbia who as joined Manchester City for £38m after he requested that I let him talk to them. Whilst I did not want to lose the French Midfielder I did not want to stand in his way if he wanted to leave. Kondogbia has been excellent for us in the last 3 seasons and leaves a big void to fill by one of our talented midfielders already at the club.
What happened next in the window was incredible, PSG had made a couple of bids for Martin Odegaard which I turned down, they returned with a third bid so I decided to say that we would accept a bid of £94m thinking they would go away, however they accepted and made a bid for the full amount. So 19 year old Odegaard joined PSG for an incredible amount. I dont remember who it was in the FM Community but they said “welcome to dealing with PSG” Whilst Odegaard is a very talented player the amount of money that PSG are paying I would drive him from Milan to Paris myself.
Rodrigo Palacio has retired from the game and left the club at the end of June along with Miranda who has left the club on a free transfer. I have also released a number of youth team players including George Puskas who was not up to the standard to play for us.
We have signed 3 player’s for our first team squad 2 permanent and 1 on a season long loan with a option to buy. 25 year old Forward Alvaro Morata had become surplus to requirements at Manchester City who had transfer listed him for £25m after two seasons at the club were he made less than 10 starts in the league for them.
Next through the door we signed Right Wing Back Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid for £4.7m, the Moroccan will come in to the club as Yuto Nagatomo’s under study with a view of becoming Nagatomo’s long term replacement.
We then signed Barcelona B Central Midfielder Carles Alena on a season long loan with a option to buy. Alena is a very technically gifted player who I have been watching for the past 12 months. I now have the chance to see how he fits in to our system over the coming season.
The following 3 players have been brought in to the club by both our Head of Youth Development and Director of Football.
I am pleased to announce that we have secured a link with Belgian club Anderlecht. I wanted to form a link with a top club from a decent league within Europe so I can send players that come through our development squad who I feel need to get some first team football under their belt before making the final step up in to our first team. Once our pre season is complete 3 players are going to go to Anderlecht on a season long loan, the players are Forward Andrea Pinamonti, Winger Nicola Dalmonte and Left Back Giuseppe Pezzella. Anderlecht have said that all 3 will be part of the first team squad for the forth coming season.
If you have read my earlier post on the Inter Academy you will be familiar with how I try to develop players through our system, however having created the link with Anderlecht I am now in a position to add another level to our development system. Has many will know I like to keep my squads trimmed down to enable players to get game time has I see no point in having overloaded squads with players not getting any quality game time. So a recap on our development system:
Step 1 Youth Intake: Head Of Youth Development brings players in to the club.
Step 2 Under 18 squad maximum of 25 players : Players will be continually monitored during the season. At the end of the season players will either A Remain in the Under 18 squad B Transition in to the Under 20 squad C Released from the club.
Step 3 Under 20 squad maximum of 25 players : Players will be continually monitored during the season. At the end of the season players will either A Remain in the Under 20 squad B Transition in to the First Team squad C Go on a season long loan to Anderlecht or whoever our leading affiliate club is. (I will always try to set up a club from the top division in either Belgium, Holland or Portugal). D Transfer listed or Released from the club.
Whilst I am a believer of developing players at the club I realise that first team experience at another club can bridge the gap of a players transition in to the first team by getting good game time instead of just being a fringe player in the first team squad. This coming season I have sent the 3 players Pinamonti, Pezzella and Dalmonte to Anderlecht and have promoted both Federico Dimarco (LWB) and Zinho Vanreusden (CB) in to the first team squad whilst Forward George Puskas has been released from the club. Federico Dimarco will be pushing Alex Telles for a starting place this season he looks a phenomenal player in our system.
We have had a very good pre season winning all our games whilst getting good playing time for the whole squad. We have also introduced a 3-5-2 formation in to our Verticalità set of tactics. The 3-5-2 incorporates a false 9 alongside a complete forward, early signs are promising and if successful gives us another option.
We faced Napoli for the Supercoppa Final where we added to our collection of silverware after winning a penalty shoot out after a 1-1 draw. The Final itself was more satisfying to win because we fielded 5 players who have come through the system at Inter. Assane Knoukouri, Andrea Pinamonti, Federico Dimarco, Zinho Vanreusden and Nicola Dalmonte all started the final in which we had Ruben Neves to thank after his superb 73rd minute strike took us in to extra time by cancelling Hakan Calhanoglu’s 48th minute goal out.Man of the match was Nicola Dalmonte who put in a good performance.
Champions League Draw
We we’re seeded for the draw in Zurich and like last year we got drawn against Chelsea and Steaua along with Shahktar Donetsk in what will be a tough group.
That concludes another post as the transfer window slams shut. We will be able to concentrate on the job ahead of us this season now without the fear of players leaving us. I will be back during this next week with the Winter break update, so until then stay safe. A big thanks to Mark Bowen @marcbowen17 for giving me a shout out on the Deep Lying Podcast @TheDeepLyingPod this week, much appreciated thanks.
The Story So Far
2018-2019 Supercoppa Winners
2017-2018 Serie A Champions – Coppa Italia Winners – European Super Cup Winners Supercoppa Runners Up
2016-2017 Serie A Runners Up – Europa Lge Winners – Supercoppa Winners – Coppa Italia Runners Up
2015-2016 Serie A Runners Up – Coppa Italia Winners