Welcome to our Andrea Ranocchia 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
From one of the brightest Italian prospects in 2010 to a loan spell at Hull City midway through the decade, Andrea Ranocchia’s career path has been nothing short of remarkable. Like oh so many players, he never reached the heights that bloated expectations set for him when he had just broken onto the scene. But after suffering through the banter era and bouncing from loan spell to loan spell, in recent years the Frog has settled into a role as a dependable depth piece for Inter. That made seeing him be part of Inter’s Scudetto-winning squad especially sweet.
Games Played: 9 (9 starts, 823 minutes)
What went right this season?
Ranocchia made only nine appearances this season but was always up to the task. Inter went 8W-1T-0L with him on the pitch, including three shutouts. The 33-year-old could usually be found at the center of the backline to compensate for his lack of pace, though Ranocchia’s reading of the game made up for any imperfections in his skillset. Having a player of his caliber off the bench gave Inter a reliable option when any of the starters needed a break.
With the Scudetto already clinched, Antonio Conte gave Ranocchia the start in three of Inter’s last four games of the season. He guided the Nerazzurri to wins over Sampdoria, Roma, and Udinese, but it was the meeting with the giallorossi in which Ranocchia most impressed. Inter was up 2-1 eighty-seven minutes in when Rick Karsdorp sent a teasing cross to an unmarked Stephan El Shaarawy in the six-yard-box. Ranocchia somehow got in front of the Roma attacker, however, and made a last-ditch clearance to preserve the three points. Even at 33 years of age, there’s no denying the Frog’s defensive qualities.
What does he need to improve on?
While Inter did go unbeaten with Ranocchia playing, only two of those wins came against top ten opposition. While he’s able to hold his own against mid-table sides and below, starting Ranocchia against a team like Atalanta or Napoli would be tempting disaster. Like his predecessor, Simone Inzaghi will be reliant on the first-choice defense in big games.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
Ranocchia’s contract expires this summer but if the latest reports are to be trusted, Inter is offering him an extension. He’s an ideal depth piece and well worth keeping around for another season or two.