The Nerazzurri took a move right out of Juve’s playbook by bringing in Banega.
When you look back at the last few years for Inter, all you can do is wonder why. How did a team go from winning the Champions League in 2010, to being outside of Europe by the end of 2013? Their fall from grace has been only matched by city rivals AC Milan, who are suffering from a totally different set of ailments.
Inter has changed owners, twice in the past six years. Their front office has changed drastically, they’ve gone through several coaches but are seemingly back on track with Roberto Mancini at the helm. With Chinese backing, the 3-time UEFA Champions League winners can finally begin to become competitive in the market again, but do they really need the funds or the brains?
They’ve spent on players the last few years, that’s no question. But they’ve spent recklessly and without doing their due diligence have compounded problems. Included issues related to the Financial Fair Play regulations, in which they are in violation of. The current regime isn’t totally at fault, they share the burden with the previous directorship who failed to revamp the team after 2010.
It’s almost as if after they won the treble that year and Mourinho left, the club really had no idea what to do next. They stayed the course and they’ve paid in every way imaginable ever since. Of course, this is just a flyby at 30,000 feet of the problems at Inter. But for the sake of this article, we should move on to the present.
Piero Ausilio this summer took a play out of his Juventus counterpart’s book. Look for high quality players who are out of contract and looking to write a new chapter in their careers. Given Banega’s background, Inter and the Argentina international couldn’t be a better fit.
Ever Banega arrives in Milano on a free transfer, ripe off another Europa League winning season. The 28-year-old has battled through tough times himself in recent years. After signing with Valencia in 2008, he’s bounced around La Liga and even was loaned back to Argentina to rebuild himself. The stories of Inter and Banega are similar, and perhaps their resurgences will continue and intertwine starting in a few weeks time.
When I personally first heard of Banega being linked with Inter, it dawned on me that this was the missing piece they needed. During these past few years, there has been a lack of a true playmaker from the midfield. With Banega, Mancini has a whole new type of weapon he can deploy. The Italian coach’s midfield so far during his second tenure has been comprised mainly of destroyers and box-to-box runners. Now with a creative midfielder at his disposal, Mancini can make his lineup around a player who possesses incredible vision and range. He doesn’t possess the long-ball ability of Pirlo, but he does have a similar effectiveness on the ground game.
During the Copa America Centenario, Banega shined brightly behind Argentina’s star filled attack. His through-ball passes gave the opposing defense nightmares throughout the tournament. Although Argentina didn’t win, Banega was right there alongside Vidal in terms of the best midfielder of the competition.
Inter could very well deploy the similar Argentina formation, the 4-3-3 this season. Which will bode well not just for Banega, but also the three Inter attackers that Mancini fields. The Nerazzurri were unable to hold leads or break down defenses this past season. There was no tactical flexibility in the side. After selling Kovacic and acquiring another destroyer, Felipe Melo, it was apparent that the creative edge of their midfield was gone. With an experienced, talented and versatile midfielder back on the roster, Mancini may have the key to unlock the opposition and keep them at bay.
With another competition in the programme for the black and blue boys from Milan this season, Banega’s arrival could spark a new era of success for a downtrodden club.