It had been a rollercoaster of a summer for Inter Milan, who has made drastic changes to their club. First was the departure of ex-Inter manager, Antonio Conte, as the club and manager mutually agreed to part ways. The Nerazzurri were able to find an adequate replacement as Lazio manager, Simone Inzaghi, joined after his contract expired this summer with the Biancocelesti.
The managerial position was the beginning of an eventful summer for Inter. The club were forced to sell right wing-back, Achraf Hakimi, for 70 million euros in order to help their finances. It was reported that he would be the only marquee player that would be sold during the transfer market from the Nerazzurri. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as they made another shocking move and sold Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea for 115 million euros.
Selling Lukaku wasn’t an easy decision made by Inter, yet their financial situation backed them into a difficult scenario. At the time of this purchase, Inter fans were not pleased as he had become a fan favorite and a focal point to their club. Inter Sporting Director, Beppe Marotta, was quick to address this area as he managed to sign Eden Dzeko from Roma.
While Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez were set to begin the season upfront for Inter, the club had mentioned that they wanted to sign one more striker before the transfer window closed. The Nerazzurri made one final move to bolster their lineup as they purchased Joaquin Correa, from Lazio. Inzaghi had constantly expressed his interest for the forward and wanted to be reunited with the Argentine.
With Correa now officially with Inter, what can fans expect from the forward?
In the past five seasons, Lazio were built around the 3-5-2 under their previous manager, Inzaghi. Correa will need little time to adjust with his new team as he has a good familiarity with the formation and Inzaghi’s tactics. In the past three seasons, Correa has been used as a forward, second striker or attacking midfielder under the Italian manager.
With Dzeko and Martinez set to be Inter’s number nine, Correa would definitely be used as a second striker behind either player. Both players have comparable traits to Ciro Immobile, which will allow Correa to adjust and adapt. It’s the latter who is more similar to Immobile as Martinez likes to make runs in behind the defense, receive passes in stride or work with ample space.
Under Inzaghi, Correa and Immobile were the ideal choice up front and managed to create a strong working relationship. Immobile was more effective when Correa was inserted into the lineup. This was due to the Argentine as he’s a quick player, is decisive and has impressive dribbling skills which allows him to make several key passes. He’s able to create space in the final third, find his teammates in stride or draw defenders toward him in order to create 1v1 situations.
Last season, Correa ranked fourth on Lazio in key passes as he averaged 1.1 per game and finished behind Luis Alberto, Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. During his three seasons with the Biancocelesti, he averaged one key pass per game and was effective in the final third.
Although Correa has the ability to make vital passes and find players on the counter-attack or in tight space, he has shown that he could score as well.
Since arriving to Lazio back in July 2018, Correa scored 30 goals and registered 18 assists in 117 appearances. Through that time, he provided Lazio secondary scoring when Immobile failed to score or when in need of additional goals. Correa finished second in scoring, behind Immobile, for three straight seasons. Last season, Immobile finished with 26 goals across all competitions and Correa came in second with 11 goals.
While Correa has been primarily used as a second striker or forward, he could be used as an attacking midfielder. As stated earlier, his speed and ability to make key passes has allowed him to do well in this role. He has good dribbling skills which allow him to advance the ball up-field or make those quick one touch passes. Correa was slotted into this role on numerous occasions when Lazio were without multiple midfielders and had little trouble transitioning into this role.
Correa could serve as a good back-up option to Hakan Çalhanoğlu. It would give Inzaghi an additional option and depth in the midfield if he runs into the scenario that players are unavailable due to injuries or suspensions.
The one downfall to Correa’s game is that he’s shown to be inconsistent at times. Last season, the forward scored three goals in the first 23 Serie A matches, however, scored seven goals in the latter part of the season. With a fresh start at Inter, Correa will aim to be productive on a consistent basis.
In addition, he has struggled to stay fit in the past two seasons as he’s dealt with several injuries. As a result, he missed 21 games and was out of the lineup during key periods of Lazio’s seasons.
Correa has the necessary tools to do well at Inter and would transition quickly given his experience under Inzaghi. With Correa now officially with Inter, he is the perfect player to play in behind either Dzeko or Martinez and could be set for a breakout season.