Simone Inzaghi’s concern grows over Inter defence with Arsenal and Chelsea stars proving hard to sign

Whilst there has been a lot of focus on strikers this summer for Inter, Simone Inzaghi is concerned about his team's defence and wants a new player through the door before the transfer window closes.

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There is a strong feeling that the start of the 2023/24 Serie A season is coming too soon for Inter, with concerns about the quality of depth in the defence after pre-season.

The end of Inter’s preparations caused alarm bells to ring at Appiano Gentile as they shipped more goals than Simone Inzaghi would have expected, and he is therefore still waiting for the club to act in the transfer market.

There are targets that Inzaghi would like to see come through the door, but various circumstances are making it very hard for CEO Beppe Marotta to give the coach what he wants.

Inter’s shaky post-Skriniar defence

Milan Skriniar applauds a teammate for Inter against Porto. [@Inter_en]

Whilst the major departure from a financial point of view this summer saw Andre Onana head to Manchester United for a possible €55m, Inter did also lose Milan Skriniar out the back door as he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

They spent a large chunk of the 2022/23 campaign without him in the backline due to back surgery and his expected departure, but Inzaghi would still have been expecting a credible replacement to come in.

They confirmed the permanent deal for Francesco Acerbi, and Yann Aurel Bisseck has come in as a fairly unknown quantity, but the former has got muscle issues and is now 35 years old. Matteo Darmian is expected to play on the right of a back three more regularly than is ideal if nobody else joins the club.

Inter recorded just one clean sheet in five pre-season friendlies, and that was against Pergolettese. They conceded a goal in each game against Al Nassr and PSG, but it is the most recent friendlies that have sparked concern. Against RB Salzburg, Inter conceded three times in a 4-3 win, and they also shipped two goals against Egnatia in a 4-2 win, a team who play their football in Albania.

Inter’s defensive targets prove hard to sign

There are a number of defenders that Inter have been linked with throughout the window, but as La Gazzetta dello Sport reports, they are all proving hard to acquire.

The primary choice right now for Inzaghi is Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, who used to play for Bologna. There are two issues with that deal; Arsenal only want to sell him outright rather than sanction a loan, and the recent ACL injury to Jurrien Timber means Tomiyasu may need to stay for depth.

Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu leaving the pitch. [arsenal.com]

That leaves Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah as an option, but similarly, injuries to Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile mean that Chelsea are less willing to let the Englishman leave the club than they previously would have been.

Other targets throughout the summer have included Cesar Azpilicueta, who went to Atletico Madrid and Nacho Fernandez who opted to stay at Real Madrid.

Inzaghi wants a new defender through the door, but right now, it is certainly not clear where that player will come from.

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