Pavard joins Inter: Why will Inzaghi be so thrilled with the Frenchman’s arrival?

Benjamin Pavard appears to be a superb signing for Inter late in the window, one that gives Simone Inzaghi a stronger and deeper defence.

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Although Inter completed the permanent signings of Yann Aurel Bisseck and Francesco Acerbi early in the 2023 summer transfer window, Simone Inzaghi has remained keen on adding another central defender to his squad, and that has proved to be Benjamin Pavard.

The Nerazzurri actively tried to sign Pavard in the 2023 January transfer window, and for long periods of the summer, it seemed as though a deal wouldn’t be possible again. However, the Frenchman remained Inzaghi’s priority and with Pavard pushing for a move to Inter, his transfer quickly became inevitable.

The move was finalised for a €32 million fee, with Pavard reportedly earning around €5m per year, signing a five-year contract. 

Why Pavard is perfect for Inzaghi and Inter

It was clear early in the window that Inter needed to focus on getting a centre-back who preferred playing on the right-hand side of a back three so that he could replace Milan Skriniar. This is the role Pavard predominantly played at Bayern Munich.

Although throughout his career the Frenchman typically played as a right-back, as the 27-year-old has gotten older, he has seen more game time in central defence. Given that Pavard will act as defensive cover for Denzel Dumfries, his natural position being a right-back will allow Inzaghi to be more tactically fluid during games. 

Benjamin Pavard signs his Inter contract. [@Inter_en]

For example, in the game against Manchester City in the 2023 UEFA Champions League final, Inter weren’t afraid to change shape to a 4-4-2. Throughout the game, Matteo Darmian (who started the game on the right of the back three) pushed wider to act as a right-back, which then allowed Dumfries to push further up the pitch, limiting the Dutchman’s defensive responsibilities and making the most of his attacking abilities. 

Pavard can replace Darmian in the Inter starting eleven and he is also six years younger than the Italian.

How Pavard’s signing moves Inter forward

Whilst Pavard’s primary focus will be the defensive side of things, he will also offer his side a progressive outlet. Whether that be through carrying the ball himself, or through his passes, the Frenchman excels at bringing the ball forward which is a trait Inzaghi will have targeted.

Alongside this, he also offers Inter some additional offensive threat. Last season for Bayern, he ranked in the 94th percentile of central defenders for xG and xA per 90 at 0.15.

Aside from these positive factors, it means that Inter now have enough cover for two full defensive lines, something that will be vital if the Nerazzurri play as many games this season as they did last season.

Across fixtures in Serie A, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and also the Suppercoppa Italiana, Inzaghi’s side played an incredible 57 times, a situation only workable due to the Italian’s ability to rotate his squad. 

It is well known that Inter will be aiming to get their hands on the Scudetto this season, and with arguably the best squad depth in the league, Pavard’s arrival will only aid their efforts to bring the title and other silverware to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. 

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