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Thoughts on Inter Milan’s Champions League squad

The club submits their list for the competition, but key players are missing

Italy Training Session And Press Conference
Roberto Gagliardini of Italy in action during a Italy training session at Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano on September 4, 2018 in Florence, Italy.
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The final step for Inter before returning to the UEFA Champions League was to announce Inter Milan’s squad for the competition. This was never going to be a simple task for the club as they still faced restrictions imposed by UEFA as a result of them failing to abide by Financial Fair Play in recent years.

Inter were only ever allowed to register 22 players and (importantly) the club needed to balance the transfers in/out from the list they submitted in 2016/17 (i.e. the last time they participated in Europe).

This past Monday, Inter submitted the following list of players for the competition:

List A

  • 1 Samir Handanovic
  • 2 Sime Vrsaljko
  • 6 Stefan De Vrij
  • 8 Matias Vecino
  • 9 Mauro Icardi
  • 10 Lautaro Martinez
  • 11 Keita Balde
  • 13 Andrea Ranocchia
  • 14 Radja Nainggolan
  • 16 Matteo Politano
  • 18 Kwadwo Asamoah
  • 20 Borja Valero
  • 23 Joao Miranda
  • 27 Daniele Padelli
  • 33 Danilo D’Ambrosio
  • 37 Milan Skriniar
  • 44 Ivan Perisic
  • 46 Tommaso Berni
  • 77 Marcelo Brozovic
  • 87 Antonio Candreva
  • 93 Raffaele Di Gennaro

List B

  • 40 Lorenzo Gavioli
  • 59 Vladan Dekic
  • 64 Ryan Patrick Nolan
  • 65 Maj Roric
  • 67 Gabriele Zappa
  • 99 Niccolò Corrado

A few thoughts on this list, and what it might mean for the team:

  • The list is missing three first-team players: Roberto Gagliardini, Dalbert and Joao Mario. The first two arrived after the last UEFA list was submitted, and Joao Mario was also excluded from the 2016/17 list.
  • Of our 21 players listed players, four are goalkeepers. This decision was necessary to meet the club- and country-trained requirements which UEFA enforces. For a club with a youth academy as successful as Inter, it is a damning indictment that we still struggle to meet these rules.
  • The absence of Gagliardini is the biggest surprise. Central midfield is an area where the club already lacks depth, so losing him is significant. Expect to see Gagliardini playing in Serie A before and after each CL game.
  • We may see Kwadwo Asamoah playing more in midfield as a result of Gagliardini’s exclusion. In the absence of Dalbert, we may therefore see D’Ambrosio (or even Vrsaljko) moving to left back/left wing back.
  • With the exception of CBs and CFs, Spalletti has selected a squad of tactically flexible players. Virtually everyone in our list is capable of playing in more than one position. This is important given the reduced squad size.
  • Brozovic and Asamoah are the only players without direct replacements in the squad, so expect them to be managed throughout the season.

Despite the absence of some big names, this is still a strong squad that will allow the coach to employ a number of tactical plans. The club knew this was coming, and their strategy of signing players on loan with the option to buy has been effective in building an eligible squad which would also comply with UEFA’s restrictions.

Forza Inter!

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