Welcome to our Andrei Radu 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
In Samir Handanovic’s nine years at the San Siro, the Slovenian has missed only thirteen games and never made less than 35 showings any given season. The consistency in goal has only been beneficial for Inter’s defensive stability and structure, but it is rather unfortunate from the perspective of a backup keeper. But thanks to Inter securing the Scudetto on Matchday 34, the latest second-string, Andrei Radu, finally got his chance to shine late in May.
Games Played: 2 (1 start, 135 minutes)
Goals Conceded: 1
What went right this season?
After spending the last two seasons on loans to Genoa and Parma, Radu was promoted to Inter’s bench when Tommaso Berni retired following the 19/20 campaign. He came close to starting against Sassuolo in March with Handanovic out with COVID-19 but the game ended up being postponed. Radu couldn’t be kept waiting forever, though, and came on in Inter’s first game as champions against Sampdoria as a halftime sub. Just getting to play at all was a massive positive for the Romanian. He kept a shutout in forty-five minutes and had everything that came near under control.
Radu’s Sampdoria outing did enough to convince Antonio Conte to give the 24-year-old his first-ever start for the Nerazzurri the following week. Inter came out 3-1 victors over Roma for three points that Radu will surely have especially fond memories of.
What does he need to improve on?
While Radu did at last make it onto the pitch, he also showed why Handanovic is the clear number one even amidst the 36-year-old’s decline. He didn’t make any glaring errors but instead lacked the poise and veteran experience Handanovic still has. Here’s what Michael had to say about Radu in the recap of the Roma game.
Radu - 5.5: Not the best first start, but not the worst. He maybe could have done more on the goal, but other than that, his distribution from the back and his other saves were decent. He’s probably never a starter at Inter, but a decent keeper.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
At 24 years of age, Radu could understandably want more game-time than he’ll get at Inter. Whether he leaves on another loan or a permanent move depends on the market, but it’s hard to see him satisfied with another season riding the bench. The goalkeeping corps are still in flux, however, with the exception of Handanovic. Daniele Padelli has departed to Udinese and Alex Cordaz is rumored to be heading to Inter from Crotone. The 38-year-old already has top-flight experience and could be the new backup, making Radu redundant.