Welcome to our Stefano Sensi 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
While a championship-winning season has the effect of easing any disappointments from the previous year, Stefano Sensi’s star-crossed Inter career remains as frustrating as ever. After barely more than a month of full fitness in the fall of 2019, the Italian has been a constant visitor to the Appiano Gentile medical center ever since. The problems that plagued Sensi throughout the vast majority of the 2019/20 campaign only resumed where they left off in September 2020.
Position: Center Midfielder
Games Played: 21 (4 starts, 647 minutes)
What went right this season?
With a mere four starts to his name, there wasn’t much of a chance for Sensi to show his best. He was far from the player that was key to the early start of Inter’s 2019/20 season, in which he notched three goals and four assists in twelve games. Whether the pre-injury Sensi ever returns to the San Siro pitch is a massive question-mark and the answer is looking more and more like a negative every passing game. Coming to terms that the €18 million Inter sent to Sassuolo is turning out to be a waste hasn’t been easy, but Sensi has at least looked competitive in the rare moments he plays. Even though he’s far from what was advertised in his first appearances, Sensi’s stats still show promise. He averaged 5.11 shots created, 6.66 progressive passes, 2.6 switches, and 5.35 passes into the final third per 90 minutes. If he can find consistency in terms of health, it’s possible Sensi still has something to Simone Inzaghi on the pitch.
It would take quite the optimist to find the best moment from Sensi’s grand total of 600 minutes on the pitch. His run of 8 appearances in the last ten games of the season was the Italian’s best stretch of form. Even then, however, he was a bit rusty and off top-form. Worst of all, Sensi exited the season closer against Udinese with, you guessed it, an injury. In short, a campaign to forget.
What does he need to improve on?
There’s only one answer here and it’s a word we’ve heard all too often when talking about Sensi: fitness. Only Andrea Pinamonti and Matias Vecino played fewer minutes in the 2020/21 season than Sensi. Thanks to “muscular problems”, “muscular fatigue”, and “adductor problems”, he missed 11 games but that number was really much greater. Sensi went an unused substitute on 15 occasions, as while he may not have been suffering from any ailments at the time, he lacked any sort of match-readiness all too frequently.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
Antonio Conte’s departure certainly changes the air at Appiano, and along with the manager, fitness coach Tiago Pintus will also be leaving. The latter was as important to Inter’s Scudetto as anyone and kept the Nerazzurri’s number of muscular injuries to the bare minimum. It’s possible Sensi never adapted to Pintus’ training methods, however, so perhaps he’ll see more action under Simone Inzaghi’s staff. Sensi has a chance to impress at the Euros with Italy this summer as well. Perhaps Sensi can find the confidence boost he needs to bounce back to his best in the coming weeks, or at least put himself in the shop window for a transfer. Fiorentina and Shakhtar Donetsk have both shown interest in him and with Inter needing to cut costs, Sensi is one of the most obvious to leave.