There is absolutely no secret about what the aim is for Inter heading into the new Serie A campaign. They want to take the Scudetto back from AC Milan and for the most part, their summer business is in line with that.
The thing that let Inter down last season was not so much the quality of their starting eleven, it was the fact that they were lacking quality depth in multiple positions as the season started to wear on. They had lots of players, but the drop-off between the starters and the bench proved to be too pronounced.
The midfield three of Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu was arguably the best in the league but when Brozovic picked up an injury or Barella’s form took a hit, the players who filled in were not up to scratch. The likes of Matias Vecino, Roberto Gagliardini and Arturo Vidal did not do enough.
The main aim for the summer has been to increase the overall quality of the squad but also whilst making €60 million of profit from transfers and reducing the wage bill by 10-15%. That is not an easy task.
Inter transfers: Signings and sales
In terms of outgoings, the only major player from the usual starting XI to leave was Ivan Perisic after he agreed on a contract with Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
Beyond that, the Nerazzurri have lost Matias Vecino, Arturo Vidal, Stefano Sensi, Ionut Radu, Martin Satriano, Andrea Ranocchia, and a lot of other youngsters who have headed out on loan. In the coming weeks, it is assumed that Andrea Pinamonti and Alexis Sanchez will both be gone.
In terms of arrivals, some very important players have been signed that undoubtedly raise the level of the collective. They have signed Kristjan Asllani from Empoli on a €4m loan which will be made permanent for a further €10m next summer. He is viewed as the much-needed deputy for Brozovic and he has been very impressive in pre-season.
They have added further quality to the midfield by bringing in Henrikh Mkhitaryan on a free transfer after the Armenian chose to accept their offer rather than Roma’s. It was an opportunistic purchase but one that could look very smart come the end of the season.
Andre Onana finally arrived on a free from Ajax in what was one of the worst-kept secrets in football. That is important as Inter now have two quality goalkeepers who can fight it out for a year and then presumably, Onana will be the number one in 2023/24.
The major signing is of course the return of Romelu Lukaku on a loan deal. It could be a big slice of short-termism from Inter but reinstating that partnership between the Belgian and Lautaro Martinez could potentially prove decisive this season. That move means they now have Edin Dzeko as a rotation option which he will be much better suited to.
Talented full-back Raoul Bellanova has also come in from Cagliari which means that they have a youthful option to rotate with Denzel Dumfries.
The downside to their summer came with the failed pursuit of Gleison Bremer. They agreed on personal terms with him at the beginning of 2022 but could not agree on a fee with Torino given the lack of liquidity. Juventus then swept in and signed the Brazilian once they had offloaded Matthijs de Ligt.
That situation and the fact they still have not made that €60m yet has doused enthusiasm at Inter somewhat. There is a very real chance that they sell Milan Skriniar and replace him with Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina which would be a downgrade. Dumfries is also linked with a move away. The final few weeks of their window could throw up some major surprises that change the outlook on the season.
Inter season expectations
Regardless of how the rest of the transfer window goes, Inter are going to be a really good team again next season. It would be a huge shock if they were not involved in a title fight right until the end but if they auction off a key player in the next couple of weeks, they may come up short.
With the partnership of Lukaku and Lautaro back in place and the incredible midfield they have behind them, expect the Nerazzurri to be the top scorers again too.