While the good news for Inter Milan is that both Lautaro Martinez and Stefan de Vrij are scheduled to return to the squad this week after sitting out due to injury, there is some bad news.
Marcelo Brozovic, Inter’s stalwart in the midfield, is likely out for 2-3 weeks after suffering a thigh injury 23 minutes into the Nerazzurri’s 0-0 stalemate with Atalanta Sunday.
He pulled up holding his hamstring in the 0-0 draw with the Orobisi.
His absence could leave a gaping hole in the center of the pitch for Inter in upcoming matches.
With Radja Nainggolan back, but certainly not showing full strength and Borja Valero unable to shoulder a full 90 minutes, Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti could face a big challenge when maneuvering a roster for upcoming matches.
Matias Vecino, barring anything happens to him, will likely earn a start with Nainggolan also starting. However, the third midfielder becomes a bit of an issue.
On one hand, Spalletti could show Roberto Gagliardini some additional love after scoring a double against Genoa last week. However, without Brozovic, Inter will lack a clear leader on the pitch up front as captain Samir Handanovic is a goalkeeper.
The bright side is that Martinez and de Vrij will return and have already started training with the first team.
De Vrij is one of the anchors of an Inter Milan defense that has 15 clean sheets this season and has the best defense at home.
Martinez has also become a key figure for the Nerazzrurri, but that could be a little more complicated with the return of Mauro Icardi to the lineup.
Spalletti is known for not bringing injured players back into the fold for a full match, so that would mean that Martinez and de Vrij will play – and could start – against Frosinone this weekend, but be subbed off in the second half.
The lack of Martinez and Brozovic against Atalanta was apparent as the Nerazzurri failed to connect on any scoring opportunities during the entire match.
One alternative for Spalletti is to play both Icardi and Martinez up top with Ivan Perisic and Matteo Politano on the wings. That would leave a need for just two midfielders – where Nainggolan and Vecino could factor.
I do like the idea of giving Gagliardini more minutes on the pitch as he has shown repeatedly his value to the club.
But, whether Spalletti will heed that or not is another story.
What do you think? Post your comments below!