This season presents Inter’s best chance of possibly winning the Serie A. It will be the first time they do that, ever since they won the treble under Jose Mourinho back in 2010. But it won’t be an easy race to the title at all, with Juventus also in the race. Lazio have won all of their last eight games and they aren’t easy to push back as well.
There has been a feeling at the Nerazzurri that they lack depth. And links with midfielders keep on emerging. Antonio Conte has been clear about the lack of depth and it seems a given why he’s so consistent about it. While the midfield does need some extra numbers, the full-back positions don’t need much. That, especially this season.
Reports have been linking them with Matteo Darmian, Marcos Alonso and Atalanta full-back Robin Gosens. But the recent reports claim that they may not go after a full-back, with the January transfer window right upon us. The report goes onto state that the Nerazzurri will only sign a full-back if one of the current options leaves in January. That doesn’t really seem like too huge a possibility. At least not yet.
As things stand, Antonio Candreva is the club’s first-choice right wing-back in the 3-5-2 shape. Summer signing Valentino Lazaro has been a back-up and is being used in either the left wing-back or the right wing-back role. But another summer signing in Cristiano Biraghi has been the regular left wing-back. Kwadwo Asamoah did play regularly in the first few games, but a younger option in Biraghi has stepped in.
As things stand, there are a total of four options in that position. Lazaro has been playing on the left, racking up one assist in the game against Slavia Prague. He has one assist while playing on the right- where has been used eight times in all competitions.
As for Asamoah, he isn’t getting younger with each passing day. The former Juventus man is 31 and his last start came against Brescia back in October. He’s facing knee problems, but when fit he is well capable of doing a job. He did the job of a wing-back for Conte at Juve for three or four years.
Candreva isn’t getting any younger either. But his rise back to prominence has been key to Inter. The Italian has a tally of three goals and five assists, almost keeping Lazaro out of regular football. He has silently been one of their best players, bringing a lot of tenacity from the right side.
It is fair to say that they don’t really have one world-class wing-back. But they don’t have the worst bunch of them either. January isn’t known for a period when teams can attract top players. It is unlikely that a top-class wing-back gets available for a move in the winter.
Darmian could be an option. But it would be tough for him to move within six months of moving to Parma from Manchester United. Goosens might not leave La Dea in the winter either, as they have gone into the knockout stages of the Champions League already. Marcos Alonso could be an option though, but that will only happen if Asamoah leaves. The Spaniard is falling short of game time at Chelsea and is at the end of criticism because of his defensive issues.
But all in all, the need for a wing-back isn’t a stinking one. The priority should be a midfielder. The club should focus on getting the best option available and if a wing-back does come up as an option, they should only go for him if someone leaves.