Written By Onyeka Daniel
This summer, Italian side, Inter Milan went through some sort of revolution to their squad as they brought in as much as 12 players and among them, we have three forwards, Marcus Thuram, Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez.
While Thuram was expected to partner club captain, Lautaro Martinez upfront, the remaining two were expected to play back up and that has been the pattern for the first three games so far, but for Arnautovic, he would prefer to be a starter rather than his current role.
The Austrian made it clear that he’s not willing to settle for a secondary role at the club. The 34-year-old made his return to the club in the summer, thirteen years following his underwhelming loan spell at the club in the 2009/10 campaign. Back then, the Austrian couldn’t make his breakthrough in Jose Mourinho’s star-studded squad.
However, Arnautovic isn’t planning on enduring another campaign on the bench. The former West Ham and Bologna striker has made three appearances this season. But they all came off the bench.
However, Arnautovic is trying his best to sway his manager. During the international break, he scored a brace in Austria’s 3-1 win over Sweden in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. The veteran striker explains that the two goals were crucial for his self-esteem.
“For me and for my self-esteem, it was very important to score those two goals”, admitted the Nerazzurri striker “I don’t like being on the bench,” this was the message that the Austrian sent to his Inter manager. According to reports, Arnautovic is unlikely to start in the Derby della Madonnina clash against AC Milan.
However, he could finally earn his chance from the get-go in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter against Real Sociedad at the San Sebastian Stadium. The same goes for Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi.
But unlike the midfielder, he’s almost assured of featuring and probably starting some games, if we go by the Inzaghi’s antecedents from last season where he tend to alternate his forward for each game, especially when facing a tight schedule, just like the one we’re about to enter now.
The Nerazzurri will find themselves playing almost every three days as they combine UCL football with domestic football.
Another summer signing, Yann Sommer ‘can’t wait’ to play in the Derby and is ‘studying’ his opponents Rafael Leao and Christian Pulisic ahead of tomorrow’s game. He joined the Nerazzurri earlier this summer and is preparing for his first-ever Milan derby. “Inter means tradition and excellence,” Sommer said in a recent interview.
“When I chose the Nerazzurri, I looked at the big picture. The coach, the goalkeeper’s trainer, the style of play, the stadium, the fans and the life in the city for my family. I understood this was the right place for me.”
Negotiations between his ex-club Bayern and Inter were lengthy, but Sommer eventually joined the Nerazzurri replacing André Onana. “I never felt I would not come here. I was calm. I don’t know what happened between the two clubs but I was confident of reaching the place I wanted.
“Inter have always had strong keepers. Julio Cesar, Toldo, but also Onana and Handanovic last year. I will do anything to be up to the task.” However, Sommer did not talk to any of the ex-Inter keepers before moving to the Stadio Meazza. “No because we don’t know each other. We just played against each other many time,” he said.
“They have different characteristics. For example, I like to make saves but also help the team in the build-up. The goalkeeper’s decision is key to overplaying the first line of the press.” How does it feel to play at San Siro? How is he preparing for Saturday’s big game? “There’s a great atmosphere at the stadium. It’s noisy, thrilling and fun. Everyone who had already played here told me it was amazing.
“I can’t wait, I know everyone’s waiting for this game. Even my compatriot Ricardo Rodriguez, who played for Milan, always told me about this match. “It comes very early in the season and anything can happen. There are other rivals for the title and it’s hard to make predictions,” the goalkeeper continued.
“All their strikers, from Leao to Pulisic, are dangerous and strong. I am studying them in detail, trying to predict all possible situations on the pitch, including penalties.” Sommer has reunited with two familiar faces at Inter: Thuram and Benjamin Pavard. How are they settling in?
“Everyone has already seen Marcus, he has the potential to become a top player,” said Sommer. “He has great physicality and technique and overall, he is smart. He is always dangerous and even the mentality he’s been given by his father is important. He is a good guy off the pitch. Always smiling and positive.
“Benji joins a great defence. He used to play as a right-back at Bayern, but the coach will decide his position. It’s good to have versatile players. I feel protected. Darmian and Bastoni move in sync. They always are in the right position. Even their body language is impressive!”
Inter reached the Champions League Final last term and Sommer was asked if the Nerazzurri can achieve the same target this time around.
“The Champions League is tough for everyone. You need to mix every element to go ahead. Inter played very well last season and deserved to play in the final, so why not?” Inter are the only Serie A club who have yet to concede a goal in Serie A this season with Sommer playing his part with a couple of saves.
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