Inter’s transfer market dealings continued this week, though it was all departures from the San Siro. Diego Godin moved to Cagliari on a free transfer, while Antonio Candreva makes his way to Sampdoria with reports of €2.5 million moving in the other direction. These exits were needed to trim down the squad size to an allowable number, and free up some decent salary money, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sting.
Godin, first of all, was only in Milan for a year after a free transfer from Atletico Madrid, where he was a standout under Diego Simeone. That didn’t stop the Uruguayan from making a positive impact on Inter, though, despite a rocky start. It took Godin some time to get going, but the hectic schedule after Serie A restarted proved his worth. He played a starting role in nine of Inter’s 13 shutouts in 2019/20, including the run of four at the end of the season that confirmed Inter’s Champions League berth. His experience was particularly vital in Europe, as he started every UCL game but one, and all Europa League matches, even notching a goal in the final. With a total of 36 appearances to his name last season, Godin was a major part of Inter’s league best defense. He surely would have been just as important this year, especially considering what is sure to be a 2020/21 fixture list that promises to be as packed as ever. Even if the 34-year-old dropped off in output, keeping him and his experience around in the locker room would surely have had its benefits.
Antonio Candreva, meanwhile, has been at Inter since a 2016 move from Lazio. In 124 Serie A appearances, the Italian has notched 12 goals and 27 assists, along with some very memorable moments.
since Candreva will join Sampdoria now, here are some of my favorite/recent Candreva's goals... Thank you for the beautiful memories, I will miss you. pic.twitter.com/LtfzXZoHua— xuki (@sampdorista) September 24, 2020
Last season was Candreva’s second best on record in an Inter shirt, with 5 goals and 8 assists in 32 appearances as the right wing-back in 2019/20. Still, his overall quality has fallen off in recent times, and with Achraf Hakimi coming in as the new first choice, he would certainly see his playing time decrease. But like Godin, the 33-year-old is a good depth piece and would surely have given his all for the Nerazzurri.
There may still be plenty of time left in the transfer market, but there’s no denying that Inter is a bit short on options at the back. Vrij, Bastoni, Kolarov, Pirola, and Skriniar (more on him later) are the only centerbacks, while D’Ambrosio must cover Hakimi alone. If Skriniar were to leave, as is rumored, Inter’s backline would undergo even more change and likely still be in flux well into the season getting new signings acclimated. What was last season’s strength looks a little shaky with the new campaign is already upon us.
Still, Inter has a little more flexibility now that Godin and Candreva’s salaries are off the books. Godin received €6.75 million annually, while Candreva bagged €2.5 million. Perhaps that money can be used for some equally or more talented signings, though it is in fact the wonderfully accomplished Matteo Darmian who could be on his way to the San Siro. Heh, heh, heh, please be fake...
In conclusion, losing two depth players as talented as these two hurts, and even more so knowing that they had plenty left to give. But sometimes things like this are necessary in the bigger picture, and Conte, Marotta, and Ausilio certainly knows what they’re doing. I would expect the Godin and Candreva size holes to be filled one way or another and Inter to be as strong as ever come October 6th.