The fate of four of Inter’s five players with contracts expiring this summer have already been settled. Ashley Young (Aston Villa) and Danielle Padelli (Udinese) have seen their time in Milan come to a close; on the other hand, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Andrea Ranocchia will be sticking around for one more season. And now it appears as though the only player still in limbo, Aleksandar Kolarov, also has a future in a Nerrazurri kit. According to both La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia, Kolarov has accepted a new deal to stay at Inter through the 2021/22 season at a €1.5 million wage despite interest from Bologna.
The 35-year-old’s new salary is only half of the €3 million he earned last year. It’s no surprise Inter wasn’t prepared to keep Kolarov at the same wage. Not only does the Nerrazurri need to cut its wage bill substantially, but Kolarov was one of the most disappointing performers of the 2020/21 campaign. He made only eleven appearances all season and never looked like he could be trusted with anything more than a rare start against a bottom-dweller. Kolarov was exposed defensively as a center back in a back-three and was especially shaky in the 2-1 October defeat to Milan. He never recovered his form or Conte’s confidence afterwards. Kolarov’s best outings came as a wingback against Fiorentina and Milan in the Coppa Italia but it’s a bit of a mystery why Inter offered him a renewal whatsoever. Ivan Perisic, Matteo Darmian, and Federico Dimarco (if he stays) all are better options than Kolarov on the left flank. We know what Kolarov at center back is like and it’s not an experience anyone cares to relive. The Serbian is cheaper than signing a new player, however, and thanks to the magic of amortization probably won’t affect Inter’s pockets very heavily.
Is Kolarov worth keeping around? Who else would you want to see brought in as depth instead?