Here is our third and final installment of our ratings of the players' performances this season.
This is maybe the most discussed department of the team and probably the one which underperformed the most this season given the potential it had and the expectations that everyone had of these players, especially the ones who were bought last summer or this January.
Feel free to disagree with my grades and my analysis and I will be very glad to hear your opinion in the comment section (and ban you right away if you beg to differ with me). Only players who made more than three appearances this season are being included for consideration.
Rodrigo Palacio: 7
Looking at the mere statistics and numbers this could seem a very high grade. He didn't score a lot of goals and he didn't assist his teammates many times either but Rodrigo was always ready. Ready to run, to put pressure on the opposing defenders, ready to give everything he had for the team, the coach and himself. He didn't mind if he started the match or if he had to wait for his moment sitting on the bench. He was and he will always be ready. If everyone on our team would have played with his same desire and passion, Inter would most certainly be playing in the CL next season.
Sure, he is starting to feel the burden of his years and he is not as physically gifted as he was four or five years ago. But he is a valuable back-up for Inter and an expert presence for an otherwise young and immature team. He renewed his contract with the Nerazzurri for one more year and I'm very happy that he is going to stick around until 2017.
Mauro Icardi: 7
Oppositely to the Palacio grade, this could seem an unfair rating for the player who, by himself, scored a third of the team's goals. The expectations were very high on him who was capocannoniere with 22 goals last season, and he failed to repeat himself with just 16 goals, which is a fairly good result nonetheless. What Maurito didn't do to make the final step towards complete maturity was the lack of inclination to sacrifice and the apparent indolence he seems to play with when the team is struggling. He surely wasn't helped by the absence of a real playmaker in midfield, who should have provided him better passes that could have lead to more goals or at least be more threatening to the opposing defenses. On the other hand, it looked like he did nothing more than what he was asked to be more dangerous. Mancini made a very brave decision at the start of the season appointing him as captain at just 22 years old, and that could have put more pressure on Mauro, who already had all eyes on him.
During the season Icardi reached an incredible milestone: he scored 50 goals in his first 100 appearances with Inter. To put this in perspective, he did better than the legends Sandro Mazzola and Diego Milito -- who just announced his retirement from football, sadly.
The sky is the ceiling for this kid, and I hope he ditches the idea of leaving Inter to play in the CL now and decides to bring back our team to its old splendor, becoming a legend of the club.
Ivan Perišić: 6.5
Sometimes it looks like his speed and his abilities with the ball are almost unstoppable even by the best defenders. At other times, it looks like he couldn’t even get past an old man in a wheelchair. When he is at his best he is incredibly exciting to watch but he has to find some regularity in his performances next season to be a more deciding factor for Inter. He is in his prime right now and he gave us a glimpse of the amazing things he is capable of doing. The four goals scored in just as many matches in the first weeks of March are a great example of that. If he will be able to do them game in and game out he could lead the team to better results in the future.
Jonathan Biabiany: 6
Nobody believed in him after the scary heart problem he suffered two years ago, Inter did.
This is the third time Jonathan is wearing the black and blue shirt and maybe it’s the one in which he has played with more maturity and composure. He is not playing out of control anymore and he also contributed to the cause with one goal this season. He could be a valuable back-up going forward and I’m glad Inter decided to bet on him and his health.
Eder Citadin Martins: 5
Bust. It's not entirely his fault, obviously, but after the 12 goals in 19 appearances with Sampdoria in the first half of the season everyone expected much more from him. He struggled to adapt to the new style of play and it felt like he didn't fit well in any of the roles Mancio played him. He failed to succeed not because he didn't want to, he ran a lot indeed, but he always looked like a fish out of water every time he was playing. He can definitely be more decisive than how he showed in the second half of this 15/16 campaign and hopefully he will be able to prove it next season as long as he is staying with the Nerazzurri.
Stevan Jovetić: 4.5
I must admit that I was extremely excited when his signing was announced. I really was. Then he scored three decisive goals in the first two matches of the season, while Icardi was dealing with an injury, and my excitement grew even more. Then he started to play poorer and poorer, losing playing time every week. He was almost useless on the pitch and it was frustrating watching him miss easy passes or failing to dribble past opponents so many times. The real problem with his season wasn’t only the few goals he managed to score despite the expectations that everyone had when he arrived. It was his attitude on the pitch, the selfishness, the sloppiness, paired with a less-than-optimal physical form. He was a monster when he was playing for Fiorentina not so long ago and I'm more than sure that he still can be devastating for the opponents, if he wants. But I was also sure that he could be a decisive player for Inter this season, so..
I could have given him a 5 for his performances on the pitch but I wanted to consider the stupid rant he made after the Udinese match, in which he scored his second double of the season, and just for those statements I decreased his grading by half a point.
Rey Manaj: -
Just four appearances in this campaign for the Albanian youngster, the bare minimum to be included in this list. He is impossible to rate in his 47 minutes played but I wanted to say a few things about him anyway because it looks like Inter want to bet on for the future. With the senior team, he almost earned a crucial penalty late in the match against Sampdoria, denied just by the blindness of the referee. Regarding his season with the youth team, he showed flashes of pure talent , like the incredible goal in the Coppa Italia final against Juve, which let us understand why the Nerazzurri think that he could blossom into a very good and decisive player.