Antonio Conte’s arrival at Inter Milan may well be the most momentous managerial appointment of the summer. Not only has he has switched allegiances in the vitriolic Derby d’Italia rivalry, he’s arguably the most ambitious Inter appointment since Jose Mourinho – a proven Serie A winner.
Still, he has plenty of work to do if he is to transform Inter from a team who snuck into the Champions League spots into genuine contenders for Juventus’s crown.
Plenty of questions remain; his predecessor, Luciano Spalletti, set-up with a four-man defence – will Conte stick to Inter’s familiar system or use his favoured back-five? And what of his first-choice striker? Many believe Mauro Icardi will move on, while rumours of Romelu Lukaku are rumbling on.
RealSport takes a look at how they could line-up next season on FIFA 20.
Samir Handanovic (OVR 88 – 88)
There are no surprises here. Handanovic has been Inter’s first-choice goalkeeper since 2012 and has established himself as one of the most consistent (and possibly underrated) goalkeepers in world football. He should remain the highest-rated goalkeeper in Serie A with an unchanged rating of 88.
Valentino Lazaro (OVR 77 – 79)
Position: RM, RB, CAM
Valentino Lazaro’s arrival from Hertha Berlin is probably the strongest indication so far that Conte will deploy a back-three. Although Lazaro has typically played on the right-side of midfield, he has experience as right-wing-back, which is where you can expect to see him slotting into Conte’s side. His rating should be boosted to 79.
Diego Godin: (OVR 90 – 88)
To sign one of the finest centre-backs of the last decade on a free is always going to be a scalp, regardless of age. Diego Godin may be 33 but is still a very capable defender whose leadership on the pitch will be a massive boost. On account of his age, his rating will drop to 88.
Milan Skriniar (OVR 86 – 87)
The aptly named Milan Skriniar is regarded as one of the best young defenders in world football. In 2018-2019, his stock continued to rise as he enjoyed a fine season. You can expect him to play in the centre of a back-three, allowing him to operate as a sweeper.
Stephan De Vrij (OVR 84 – 84)
De Vrij completes what looks to be a menacing back-three. He was comfortably Inter’s signing of last season, joining on a free from Lazio and subsequently forming a strong partnership with Skriniar. His rating should remain at an impressive 84.
Kwadwo Asamoah (OVR 79 – 79)
Another free signing in the summer of 2018, Asamoah was a consistent presence on the left-side of Spaletti’s defence last season. He’s a highly versatile player who has alternated between centre-mid and left-back for much of his career – he is expected to play as Conte’s left-wing-back next season.
Marcelo Brozovic (OVR 80 – 81)
Position: CDM, CM
Marcelo Brozovic built on an impressive World Cup with Croatia with a strong season, albeit in a more advanced role. Having been given more freedom to create chances by Spaletti, Brozovic covered more distance than any player per-game in Serie A last season and should enjoy a one or two-point ratings boost. It is worth keeping an eye on how Conte will use him in next season.
Nicolo Barella (OVR 76 – 79)
Inter fought off interest from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool to secure a loan with obligation-to-buy deal for Barella. After three impressive seasons with hometown club Cagliari, Barella is seen by many as the future of Italy’s midfield. Like Brozovic, with whom he should form a midfield pivot, he is an industrious midfielder that recorded the third-highest distance covered per-game in Serie A last season. He should enjoy a significant ratings jump to 79 or possibly 80.
Matteo Politano (OVR 82 – 82)
Position: RM, LM, ST
Politano was one of Inter’s most consistent attackers last season and, if Conte is going to deploy a 3-4-3 like he did at Chelsea, will likely line-up on the right side of the forward line. He is a versatile player – capable of playing on both flanks as well as a second striker. His rating was boosted mid-season from 80 to 82, which is where it should stay.
The Belgian forward has a chance to redeem himself after a being considered a flop for Manchester United. His large frame and powerful strides can give defenders some serious problems. We saw what he could do at Everton, let’s hope for a better Romelu Lukaku as he heads towards his prime.
Ivan Perisic (OVR 86 – 84)
Ivan Perisic is a player who seems to be linked with a move away from the San Siro each summer without it ever coming to fruition. Last season was a tumultuous one for the Croat; having entered it riding the wave of a starring role at the World Cup, then falling out with Spaletti mid-way through the season. Perisic should climb down from a post-World Cup boosted rating of 86 and return to his FIFA 18 rating of 84.
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On the bench
Daniele Padelli (OVR 73 – 74) will firmly remain second-choice for next season. He was only given one appearance in all competitions last term.
In defence, Inter can rely on the vastly experienced Miranda (OVR 85 – 83) to fill in for one of their three centre-backs. At right-back, Danilo D’Ambrosio (OVR 76 – 77) will lose his place in the first team but will provide able cover for Lazaro.
Inter have also signed Stefano Sensi (OVR 73-76), who will provide more depth in midfield and alongside Borja Valero (OVR 81 – 81) as a more advanced option.
One man to keep an eye on is Lautaro Martinez (79 – 82) who saw his stock rise rapidly last season and is one of the most exciting young attackers in the league. Conte may use a two-man strike force to accommodate him, but much still hinges on the hopeful sale of Icardi and the potential arrival of Lukaku.
Mauro Icardi (OVR 87 – 85) With no squad number he is clearly not in the plans for Mr. Conte. He may try to force a move before the end of the window.
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