In Adeyemi Adesanya’s preview to the Serie A season, he spoke about it not been a Calcio season without one turmoil or the other at the Milan clubs. The Nerazurri have just gone through another transfer of the ownership baton with Erik Thoir getting rid of the ancestoral headache that has plagued Milan’s second club by selling a majority stake in the club to the Chinese group, Suning Group for 270 Million Euros.
The days of Inter Milan winning titles left, right and center seem 20 million light years away. Since winning the treble in 2010 under Jose Mourinho, Inter have become a shadow of themselves and even the return of Roberto Mancini could not revive the Nerazzuri. Issues relating to transfer policy, poor pre season preparations, differences in opinion; eventually led to the departure of Roberto Mancini which surprisingly opened the door for the arrival of Frank de Boer, who had been linked with moves to rivals AC Milan and English side, Everton during the summer. He has taken over the hot seat and his Inter reign has not started on a good note with no wins in two matches against teams (Chievo and Palermo) they were expected to defeat comfortably.
Now, with their new manager struggling to find his feet at the San Siro and employing a set of tactics/playing style that have not been used at the club since the reign of Stramaccioni and Gasperini which have unsettled the side especially as there was no bedding period which the pre season would have offered. The Nerazzuri have gone into the market to solve problems in attack and midfield by making a club record signing of 45 million Euros for Portuguese midfielder, Joao Mario from Sporting Lisbon and Gabriel Barbosa from Brazilian side, Santos.
The burning question is: “what can Joao Mario bring to Inter Milan?”Joao Mario is a versatile player who can play in a variety of positions across the midfield, He is a hard worker, difficult to get off the ball, takes fiery shots, is good with crosses, can deliver a range of passes, has beautiful control, has accurate ball distribution and his decision making is quite good. While the qualities listed above make Joao Mario look like a super player, it is important to note that Joao Mario is not without his flaws; he can make you think of him as a grade D player, due to the decisions he makes and the fact that he doesn’t score a lot of goals when he gets into positions to do so. However.if he lives up to the hype and to his full potential, Inter would benefit greatly from his purchase.
As Inter prepare for a new chapter of their history under Frank de Boer with the likes of Ever Banega, Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa, the journey to recovery has started; however, it would not be a quick, smooth and painless journey; wins are imperative and in quick succession too, to lift the mood in the stadium and around the fans.