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Part 2: Inter Primavera players from the recent past

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Midfielders, Wingers, and Forwards - Where are they now?

Atalanta BC v FC Internazionale - U17 Serie A Final
Inter Primavera players celebrate winning the 2017 U17 Serie A Final
Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Continuing on from part one of Inter Primavera players from the recent past (2010-2016), in part two I will cover Midfielders, Wingers and Forwards as part of a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

Inter Primavera players from the recent past (2010-2016)

Central Midfielder: Alfred Duncan, 24

Empoli FC v US Sassuolo - Serie A
Alfred Duncan now plays for Sassuolo in Serie A
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Hailing from Ghana, Alfred Duncan joined the Inter youth setup in 2010 and had an outstanding couple of seasons. A tough box-to-box Central Midfielder, he blossomed under the coaching of Andrea Stramaccioni and was part of the squad that won the 2012 NextGen tournament.

Unfortunately he only made three first team appearances in Serie A before he was eventually transferred to Sampdoria. However, even in his brief appearances, there was an unmistakable spark and toughness in him. Duncan has also represented Ghana at the U20 and senior levels.

Current club: Sassuolo

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2011/12 Italian Youth Championship (Campionato Nazionale Primavera)

Regret factor: 9

Reasoning: Alfred Duncan seemingly had it all – talent, physique, and potential. Yet Inter could not find a way to fit him into the squad and selling him for a paltry 2.9 million Euros given his many upsides just seems like a decision we are going to regret sooner rather than later.


Defensive Midfielder: Lorenzo Crisetig, 24

FC Crotone v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A
Lorenzo Crisetig in FC Crotone's colors
Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

As someone who is a big fan of the Defensive Midfielder position and partial to defensive midfielders, Lorenzo Crisetig was one of those players I always hoped would succeed at Inter where strong defense has always brought the greatest success in our history. Even though his senior career with Inter did not blossom as well as one might have hoped, he had a distinguished career with the academy teams, winning the Viareggio Tournament in 2011, the youth Primavera in 2012 and the inaugural NextGen tournament in 2012. He has been capped by the Italian youth teams from U16 to U21 levels.

Current club: Crotone

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2011/12 Italian Youth Championship (Campionato Nazionale Primavera), winning the 2011 Viareggio Tournament

Regret factor: 6

Reasoning: Having come up through the ranks and tasted success at the youth level, it is a pity that he could not contribute anything significant to the senior team. A chaotic coaching situation did not help matters and one has to wonder how many of these youth team products would have been more successful at the senior level, if Inter had more stable management?


Left Midfielder: Luca Garritano, 23

AS Roma v AC Cesena - TIM Cup
Luca Garritano now playing for Cesena in Serie B
Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Luca Garritano successfully represented almost every level of Inter's youth teams from 2008 to 2013. Playing mainly as a left-winger, he would occasionally play as make-shift center forward when the team had to cover for injuries. He has also represented Italy from the U16 level all the way to U21.

Current club: Cesena

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2011/12 Italian Youth Championship (Campionato Nazionale Primavera)

Regret factor: 2

Reasoning: He was part of the 'multi-Luca' deal that brought Yuto Nagatomo to Inter with Caldirola joining him at Cesena. His performances at Cesena and Modena do seem to indicate that his level is more suited to clubs whose expectations are a step or two lower than that of Inter.


Right Midfielder: Davide Faraoni, 25

Udinese Calcio v Pescara - Serie A
Davide Faraoni is back at Udinese after a brief spell at Watford in the England
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Unlike a lot of his fellow Primavera teammates, Davide Faraoni joined the Inter youth setup relatively "late", starting off at Lazio. He made his Inter youth team debut in 2010 and went onto help the team capture the 2011 Viareggio Tournament. Faraoni became part of the senior team at the start of the 2011 season. In spite of the total chaos that surrounded the team during that season (although sadly we can say that about most seasons since 2010!), Faraoni put in some excellent performances capped by his stunning goal against Parma as part of a 5-0 Inter win. Unfortunately, Inter's third manager of the 2011/12 season (Stramaccioni) played him much less frequently. He was eventually transferred Udinese as part of the deal that saw Samir Handanovic move to Inter.

Current club: Udinese

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2011/12 Italian Youth Championship (Campionato Nazionale Primavera), winning the 2011 Viareggio Tournament

Regret factor: 6

Reasoning: Faraoni was one of the few bright spots in the otherwise miserable 2011/12 season. I had hoped that the appointment of Stramaccioni would increase his first team chances but unfortunately it went the other way. While not being outstanding, Faraoni's performances were steady given the chaos surrounding him. Given that he helped in the deal that brought Handanovic to Inter, it makes his departure more acceptable.


Forward: Frederico Bonazzoli, 20

FC Internazionale Milano v UC Sampdoria - TIM Cup
Frederico Bonazzoli formerly of Inter, now plays at Brescia
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Frederico Bonazzoli was part of the Inter youth setup from the tender age of seven. Having played for almost every age group of Inter youth teams, he top scored in the 2014/15 Viareggio Cup with five goals and was subsequently selected as the player of the tournament. Youth team success resulted in a record breaking debut for the senior Inter team. His debut game (substitute appearance) against Chievo in 2014 made him the second youngest footballer to play for Inter in Serie A. In 2015, he moved to Sampdoria for an impressive 4.5 million Euros. Since then he has been loaned out to Lanciano (Serie B) and Brescia in 2016. He has also represented Italy from U15 to U21 and has scored in nearly every age group he has played in.

Current club: Brescia

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2015 Viareggio Tournament

Regret factor: 5

Reasoning: Having had less than half a dozen games for the senior side over the course of two seasons, a move away seemed the obvious choice. The lack of a buy-back option in his transfer to Sampdoria makes his departure a little painful but a very respectable transfer fee for one so young definitely helps soften the blow.


Forward: Samuele Longo, 25

Frosinone Calcio v Torino FC   - Serie A
Samuele Longo has had a number of clubs in his short career and currently plays for Girona in the Spanish Segunda Division
Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Samuele Longo for me is a classic case of so much potential so early on yet nothing tangible beyond the youth level. While the likes of Mattia Destro has gone on to achieve greater success at the senior level in Serie A, Longo has been loaned out time and again and has struggled to find his feet. Regardless, at the Primavera level, Longo was quite prolific. His youth career began at Treviso, but was part of the Inter academy by 2009. Finding regular playing time proved challenging at first, but all that changed in 2011/12 under youth coach Andrea Stamaccioni. Longo scored in the final of the NexGen Cup that Inter won. He was also the top scorer in the 2011/12 Primavera season and instrumental in his team winning the youth championship. He has also represented Italy at the U21 level, scoring four goals.

Current club: Girona (Spanish Segunda Division)

Most famous moment with Inter: Winning the 2011/12 Italian Youth Championship (Campionato Nazionale Primavera)

Regret factor: 3

Reasoning: While I would have loved to see Longo stay and succeed, it is particularly difficult for strikers to break through unless they are truly outstanding. Through his various loan spells, consistency has deceived him and for a striker to cut it at Inter, he should be scoring a bucket-full of goals in the lower division or at a lesser side. It does seem as though Inter's senior team is a step too far but wish him the best nonetheless.


Conclusion:

While Inter's academy has been much more successful than the senior team since 2010, that success has neither directly translated into improved first team success nor a squad full of youth team products. Will the likes of Andrea Pinamonti and George Puscas have the same fate as their predecessors or will Inter handle them better? In a follow-up post I will do a deeper dive looking into correlation between success at the academy and first team levels and which teams in Serie A seem to do it better than others.

Selections like this one are always highly subjective, and I would love to hear your opinions on which Inter Primavera players were your favorites and which ones disappointed?

As always, Forza Inter!