Mazzarri under pressure to get results this season after backing in transfer market…
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The Erick Thohir era is well underway at Inter Milan and after a relatively impressive summer in the transfer market, the Nerazzurri will eyeing immediate progress.
Given the history of the club, a fifth-place finish last season was below expectations for Inter despite securing European football.
Walter Mazzarri’s side finished 42 points adrift of champions Juventus, and ultimately the supporters demand more from them moving forward after the former Napoli boss was backed in the transfer market this summer.
Nemanja Vidic, Gary Medel, Yann M’Vila and Dani Osvaldo have all arrived to strengthen the core of the squad, and there are some young talents at the club that will look to play an integral role this year.
The signing of Vidic is perhaps the most important of all, as the former Manchester United defender brings both solidity and leadership to the defensive line and will immediately improve the likes of Juan Jesus and Andrea Rannochia either side of him in a three-man defence.
Medel and M’Vila both add steel to the midfield which will give the attacking players in the line-up the freedom and license to go on and win games, but if there is one man to single out in all of this, it is Mateo Kovacic.
Fresh from scoring a hat-trick in a Europa League qualifying game on Thursday night, the young Croatian is undoubtedly one of the most promising talents in Europe.
Although he perhaps didn’t develop as would have been hoped last season, provided Mazzarri puts his faith in him, he will likely be one of the most improved players in Serie A this year.
Further afield, Hernanes will be the creative force in behind the strikers, and while Rodrigo Palacio guarantees Mazzarri goals, it will be particularly interesting to see how Mauro Icardi progresses.
The striker is largely loathed in Italy after his antics last season involving Maxi Lopez, but his ability is unquestionable. Coupled with the increased competition that Osvaldo will provide, it remains to be seen how he reacts and whether or not he can fire Inter up the table.
As with many of their rivals, Inter will be targeting a top-three finish this season as they will want to return to the Champions League as soon as possible.
However, their exploits in the Europa League, if taken seriously, could affect their domestic hopes, and it will be up to Mazzarri to successfully rotate his squad and keep them fresh to compete on both fronts.
Having added depth this summer, it shouldn’t much of a problem, but as well as keeping his players clear of injuries, he will also need to restore their confidence after a disappointing year last time out.
Key Player This Season: Mateo Kovacic.
Most Impressive Transfer This Summer: Nemanja Vidic.
Prediction: Serie A – 6th.