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A Second Chance?

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A new coach means some players that were frozen out of the squad might get a fresh start.

FC Internazionale Milano v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Bringing in Stefano Pioli doesn’t just mean a change in formation or tactics. It also means the entire squad will be assessed for the new coach to determine which players he does (and doesn’t) want to be a part of his team. Frank De Boer was pretty ruthless in cutting out players he didn’t think would be useful to him, and now those men will have a chance to convince Pioli that they should be given another chance to break into this Inter squad.

Senna Miangue; 19, Defender

There was a hot second where Miangue looked to be not only Inter’s future left-back but the club’s current preferred option, but after starting in the Sparta Prague loss the Belgian didn’t play again for Frank De Boer. His age makes it understandable that he doesn’t get as much playing time but given that the club’s fullback options are meh at best, Miangue should be able to pick up minutes with the first team (at least over Nagatomo).

Miangue played in Inter’s 3-1 friendly win over Chiasso yesterday and I hope to see more of him in the remainder of the season. His speed, athleticism, and hints of a good linkup between himself and Ivan Perisic are all traits that Pioli would do well to exploit.

Geoffrey Kondogbia; 23, Midfielder

Kondogbia only made one substitute appearance after those infamous 28 minutes against Bologna. Frank De Boer seemed to reach the last of his patience with the Frenchman after that and discarded him in favor of other midfielders. Things even reached the point where Kondogbia’s agent seemed more than open to the idea of his client leaving when asked by the press in recent weeks, shooting down the idea of Kondogbia going to Marseille but allowing links to Liverpool and Chelsea to continue.

A new coach could mean a fresh start for Kondogbia but it’s unclear if he even wants to stay. He played in the Chiasso friendly yesterday and only time will tell if Pioli can help the 23 year old both find his form as well as his desire to play for Inter.

Jonathan Biabiany; 28, Winger

Nobody expected Biabiany to be a regular starter at the club but under FdB the 28 year old only made one appearance for Inter, starting in the Hapoel loss. The Dutch manager relied almost exclusively on Antonio Candreva on the right wing, and while the Italian is a good player he does need a break from time to time.

Pioli knows all about Candreva given the time they spent together at Lazio. He’ll probably be able to make Candreva play even better than he has done so far this season, but he will also know that the winger doesn't run on unlimited batteries. Biabiany was another one of the players who started in the Chiasso friendly so Pioli will hopefully realize that he does have a (somewhat) viable backup option on the wing.

Stevan Jovetic; 27, Forward

I want to like Jovetic, I really do. It’s just that he’s been so useless in all of his appearances so far this season, and I feel like both Frank De Boer and Jovetic knew that he was only playing a handful of minutes here and there so the mandatory buyout clause with Manchester City wouldn’t be for nothing and he could stay relatively sharp before being sold in January.

That might not be the case anymore. Some reports suggest that Pioli is excited to work with Jovetic and thinks he can unlock the potential that he has shown for other clubs and his country. I hope he is successful, an in-form Jovetic working with Mauro Icardi could end up being one of the most lethal attacks in Serie A.

Gabriel Barbosa; 20, Forward

Last but not least, “Gabigol”. Inter spent quite a bit on the youngster, especially because the club wanted to bring him from Santos during the summer rather than waiting until the winter transfer market. Despite that early showing of faith by Inter’s backroom the Brazilian played less than 20 minutes under Frank De Boer’s reign due to the manager’s insistence that he “wasn’t ready for Italian football”. There have been a few recent whispers that Inter could be willing to loan Barbosa out to Empoli or Pescara, but that would only happen if Pioli decides he doesn’t want to keep Barbosa around. Like Miangue, Barbosa got playing time in Inter’s friendly match on Saturday and hopefully he impressed his new coach enough to give him minutes in upcoming competitive matches.

There are a couple of other players I could’ve mentioned, but they have already been talked about a lot (Assane Gnoukouri) or I don’t really want them to have a second chance (Felipe Melo). It’s doubtful that all of these players will have a revitalization under their new coach and some of them will likely be sold in January or the summer, but for now let’s cross our fingers and hope for some Pioli magic.