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Icardi, and then what?

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Icardi needs backup! I repeat, Icardi needs backup!

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Taking a quick look at Inter's current squad there is no doubt that the most stacked department is the offensive one. The team should focus their attention on trying to acquire a talented playmaker in the midfielder role and maybe find at least one reliable full-back, either left or right, because Mancini clearly still hasn't found an option in his squad in that position that fully satisfies him. Anyway, Ausilio & co. will have to add another point to their shopping list for the upcoming summer market: a backup for Icardi. Not only because if only Maurito eats too much and has to spend the whole matchday in the bathroom someone should be able to take his place without forcing Mancini to completely shake up his tactics, but also because next season the Nerazzurri will finally be back playing in the Europa League. That means Thursday matches, which in turn means that they will need a wider squad to avoid significant physical drops during the season.

Palacio and Jovetic are the only players currently on the squad that could replace Icardi without requiring a change of formation but both have a few dissimilarities with Maurito that do not make them the most suitable choices. Rodrigo is very good at running around the centre-forward instead of being one himself and is not a dominant presence in the opposing area because of his size. Jojo has the size for the position but he loves having the ball at his feet a bit too much and often finds himself playing too far from the opponent's box.

In my mind, there are two categories of players, and a few outsiders, that would be a good fit for the role: the "young but not too young striker who knows how to score but still has to play in a big team" and the "seasoned veteran who has played in great clubs and International competitions". Let's see who they are.

The young but not too young strikers

Name: Mattia Destro

Age: 25

Wage: €1.7M

Team: Bologna

Despite his relatively young age, Destro still hasn't found a team which actually believed in his potential, even though he scored 24 goals in 57 Serie A appearances in his three years at Roma. He and Mauro share the same size and the same abilities near the goal and that's why he would be a good choice for the role. Also, he grew up playing for Inter's youth team but he never got the chance to make his debut in the senior squad because the Nerazzurri sent him to Genoa in exchange of Diego Milito.

Name: Alberto Paloschi

Age: 26

Wage: €1.7M

Team: Swansea City

Once Paloschi was Filippo Inzaghi's designed successor at Milan but he never blossomed in the lethal goalscorer everyone hoped. He runs a lot and is a hard working striker, with a good touch inside the area. Swansea acquired him from Chievo this January for €10M though so it would be very hard to imagine him leave the Welsh team in the summer.

Name: Duvan Zapata

Age: 25

Wage: €1.7M

Team: Udinese (on loan from Napoli)

Duvan has the physical tools for being a truly dominant presence in the opposing area. He knows how to use his body and height but his on-ball skills are still a bit rough and he has to increase his confidence with the ball at his feet. Napoli already have Higuain and Gabbiadini in the centre-forward position and that's why Inter should consider the possibility of making a move to acquire him in the summer.

Name: Anthony Ujah

Age: 25

Wage: €1.7M

Team: Werder Bremen

Anthony Ujah is an interesting prospect who pairs height with explosive speed. He is already 25 but he has the abilities to play in bigger stages like the EL and he could be a great backup for Icardi, even though the Argentinian is a much better finisher than the Nigerian. Ujah scored 10 times in his 29 appearances for Werder Bremen this season.

Name: John Guidetti

Age: 24

Wage: €1.2M

Team: Celta Vigo

Guidetti's paternal grandfather is Italian and his paternal grandmother is half Swedish, half Brazilian and has lived in Kenya when he was younger. In 2012 a mysterious virus left him with no feelings in his right leg and jeopardized his football career. He bounced back from the illness and in 2015 won the U21 European Championship leading his team with two goals scored and converted the first spot-kick in the penalty shootout in the final. Guidetti has a good sense of position and his size makes him a threat inside the opposing area.

The seasoned veterans

To be honest, this is my favorite group and I would choose one of these guys to help the team when Icardi is not available during next season.

Name: Miroslav Klose

Age: 38

Wage: €2M

Team: Lazio

He may not be the relentless goal scorer he once was but I'd love to see Miro teaching Icardi all his moves and tricks, making him even stronger and dangerous than he is right now. Plus, Klose knows how Italian football works so he won't have any problem settling in Serie A.

Name: Didier Drogba

Age: 38

Wage: €1.5M

Team: Montreal Impact

Drogba's strength and shot power are a rare commodity today and even at the age of 38 Didier would be able to crush any EL and Serie A team's defense like he usually did back in the days.

Name: Dimitar Berbatov

Age: 35

Wage: €1.5M

Team: PAOK

The Bulgarian just agreed on a contract extension with PAOK so it would be very hard trying to convince him and the Greek club to a move this summer. Dimitar has good on-ball skills and possesses an imposing figure that make him very hard to defend against and would be surely able to create lots of damage to stereotypically tough Italian defenses.

Name: Alberto Gilardino

Age: 33

Wage: €1.2M

Team: Palermo

Gila is the youngest of this expert pack and is the most plausible option for the role especially if Palermo will be relegated at the end of the season. Alberto has 9 Serie A goals so far, a lot if you consider how dysfunctional and badly organized the team he plays for is.