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Where is Inter Milan at the quarter-mark of the season? Focus on the attack

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SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Ivan Perisic of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A match between SPAL and FC Internazionale at Stadio Paolo Mazza on October 7, 2018 in Ferrara, Italy.
Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

With almost a quarter of the season done and the second international break upon us, now seems like a good time to take stock of the performances of Inter Milan players so far this season. A lot was made of this Inter squad over the summer with many ‘experts’ touting them as the anti-Juve.

This hype all came to a grinding halt in Round 1 and the problems continued before Luciano Spalletti’s men went on a six game winning run.

Parts 1 and 2 focused on the defence and midfielders respectively. The following article analyses our attackers.

Matteo Politano

The winger arrived from Sassuolo with perhaps the least fanfare of any of the new players, but is quickly playing his way into the hearts of the Nerazzurri faithful. He possess excellent close control and positional sense, but still needs to improve his final product if he wants to increase his goals/assists tally. He has started both of Inter Champions League matches which suggests that Spalletti sees him as our #1 right winger. Look for him to improve as he build more of an understanding with the returning Sime Vrsaljko down that side of the field.

Appearances: 7(3)

Score Involvements: 3

Rating: B+

PSV Eindhoven v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Antonio Candreva

After being shopped around for the entire summer, it was going to be interesting to see how the Italian responded on the pitch. For the first time in his Inter career his starting position was under real threat but he has responded with some improved performances. The goal against Bologna would have done wonders for his confidence, but it was his excellent display against Sampdoria that impressed the most. He has featured more this season than many expected and could be a useful rotation option when fixtures get tight. Still needs to work on his finishing.

Appearances: 4(3)

Goals: 1

Rating: B-

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Keita Balde

Despite arriving late from Monaco, Interisti were eager to see the Senegalese winger who had tormented Serie A defences only two years ago. Unfortunately, however, things have not gone to plan and Keita is currently the biggest flop of all the new players to arrive. Has featured as an AMC, ST and his preferred role on the wing but has yet to really dominate a game. In fact, his poorest performances probably came in his preferred position. He deserved credit for stepping into the #9 role in the absence of Icardi and Martinez, but has huge room for improvement. Right now I would not expect Inter to take up the option to buy him from Monaco.

Appearances: 3(5)

Score Involvements: 0

Rating: D

FC Internazionale v Parma Calcio - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Ivan Perisic

After an excellent season and World Cup, Inter’s Croatian winger finally appeared to be getting the recognition his performances deserved on the world stage. Unfortunately though, all those games appear to be catching up with him and we have seen a gradual dip in his performances as the season wears on. He started strongly with goals against Torino and Bologna, but was not up to his usual standard in the matches after that. There has been improvement in recent outings (particularly vs PSV) which will give fans hope heading into a tough run of matches. On the positive side, he appears to be building a better understanding with Asamoah and the team has still be successful despite his poor form. No doubt he will be back to his best once his physical condition improves.

Appearances: 8(2)

Score Involvements: 4

Rating: B-

PSV Eindhoven v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Lautaro Martinez

If Politano’s was the quiet arrival, then Martinez was the loudest. Not because of the fee (Radja cost more), but simply because of the hype and potential surrounding the young Argentine. He netted a number of goals in pre-season (including THAT goal against Atletico), but was brought crashing down with the rest of the team against Sassuolo. That was always going to be a tough ask, however, as he was playing out of position as a #10 – no real cause for concern. His injury struggles were more of a dilemma (particularly as the coincided with Icardi’s) but since his return we have begun to see why Ausilio worked hard to sign him. His movement, energy and goal against Cagliari brought much joy to the Nerazzurri fans, whilst it was his movement in the build up against SPAL which helped free Icardi for the winning goal. Inter appear to finally have a quality vice-Icardi, and one that will only continue to improve as he gets accustomed to the Serie A.

Appearances: 2(2)

Score Involvements: 1

Rating: B+

FC Internazionale v Cagliari - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Mauro Icardi

It’s hard to imagine a player on the current roster who was looking forward to this season more than Mauro Icardi. The anticipation was blighted by a knee injury (perhaps the same issue which troubled him last season) which caused him to miss the match against Bologna all together, whilst limiting his output in the early part of the season. Indeed, some critics were suggesting he was in the middle of a goal drought. After his amazing equalizer against Tottenham, the floodgates opened and the Argentine has since netted five goals in as many games. A man of the match performance dragged a lacklustre Inter over the line against SPAL, and Inter fans will be hoping his scoring continues in the tough run of games following the international break.

Appearances: 8

Score Involvements: 7

Rating: A

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

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