With the transfer window in full swing, ESPNFC's Inter Milan blogger, David Wilson, discusses how Walter Mazzarri's side are shaping up ahead of the new season.
IN -- Yann M'Vila (Rubin Kazan, Loan), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United, free), Dodo (AS Roma, loan) Rene Krhin (Bologna, one million pounds), Cristiano Biraghi (Cittadella, 600,000 euros), Tommaso Berni (Torino, free), Adama Fofana (Brescia, free).
OUT -- Wallace (Chelsea, end of loan), Rolando (Porto, end of loan), Esteban Cambiasso (released), Gaby Mudingayi (released), McDonald Mariga (released), Luca Castellazi (released), Javier Zanetti (retired), Diego Milito (released), Walter Samuel (released), Simone Benedetti (Cagliari 3.52 million euros), Marco Benassi (Torino 1.32 million euros)
SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW ASSESSMENTS
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From early indications, it looks like Inter will actually spend very little this summer (less than 10 million euros net). So far this summer the Nerazzurri have made a net profit of around two million euros in their transfer dealings. The club seems focused on limiting actually cash spent by bringing in players on loan with an option to buy down the road.
Even if the club were to splash the cash on a center forward, for example, with Fredy Guarin and possibly Ricky Alvarez expected to be sold this summer, there is a good possibility the club would make a profit this transfer window.
For a club as big as Inter to have such a low net transfer spend would have been unthinkable three or four years ago. But Erik Thohir has shown that he is unwilling -- or unable -- to fund the type of transfer budget that would allow Inter to compete for a Champions League place next season, which indicates this will be another season of struggles for Beneamata fans
Rate your business so far
3/10 is my rating, but we have a long time before this transfer window closes, and I am sure that grade will change between now and Sept. 1.
I like the signing of Vidic, as his experience and winning mentality will help in the dressing room, where Inter lost a lot of experience this summer.
My concern with Inter's summer transfer dealings is twofold. One is that the club is unable or unwilling to pay for players and prefer to sign one- or two-year loan deals with an option to buy. To me, that sends out signals that the club is not sure of their direction and don't want to invest in new players in case that direction changes. That is not how you build a winning organization.
Second, except for M'Vila, the club's signings have underwhelmed me. Dodo and Rene Krhin are squad players. They are possible upgrades from what Inter had the past season, when they finished 18 points out of a Champions League spot. I don't think any of these players have helped to close that gap.
Who should be sold?
It is difficult to envision any scenario in which Guarin is still an Inter player come the end of the transfer window. There has been mistrust between the player and the club since his failed move to Juventus in January.
Andrea Ranocchia has been named Inter captain, but that could be a short-term move, as his contract situation is unsettled. He is out of contract in a year, and if Inter cannot get him to agree to a new deal in the next month, they will have to sell him rather than risk him leaving for free in a year's time.
My biggest fears are the departures of Mauro Icardi and Mateo Kovacic, who have both been attracting interest from some of Europe's other clubs. It is bleak reality that someone will make an offer the board will be unable to turn down.
Who should be signed?
Now that the M'Vila deal is finally complete, I expect Inter to turn their attention toward signing a striker to replace the departed Milito.
Inter currently have only three strikers in their first-team squad (Icardi, Rodrigo Palacio and Rubén Botta) so I would expect them to sign two more strikers in the coming weeks.
Over the past year, Inter have been linked with almost every big-name striker in England, from Edin Dzeko to Javier Hernandez to Fernando Torres.
Based on Inter's signing track record this summer, those types of big names are not what Thohir is looking to sign, so I expect someone such as Dani Osvaldo, whom Inter can probably take on a loan with an option to buy.
Problem solving: What do you need?
Looking over Inter's transfer dealings this summer, it is clear the club are implementing Thohir's mandate that the squad has to get younger. The average age of all the players who left this summer is 25.4, while the average age of arrivals has been 22 years old.
Those numbers don't tell the true story of what Inter lost. When Cambiasso, Milito, Zanetti and Samuel left, they took with them 51 major winners medals. That is not only a lot of experience to lose at once, but it is also the leadership on how the club operates and the right way to prepare and do things.
Vidic will help, but it is his first season at the club and his first in Italy. What I would like to see is the signing of another experienced player or two, players who have played at the highest level and won trophies. I would bring back Samuel, who is still looking for a club, for that reason alone.