Welcome to our Matias Vecino 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
The man whose late header ended Inter’s banter-era was largely unable to enjoy the club's most recent success. However, the introduction of three technically gifted midfielders pushed Inter’s play to a new level and may spell the end of a physical player like Vecino.
Games Played: 8
What went right this season?
Not a lot, unfortunately. Vecino began the season sidelined due to a knee issue suffered at the end of 2019/20 and did not make his first appearance for the club until March when the side visited Torino. One positive would be that the league was wrapped up early enough that Conte was comfortable resting his key players, so Vecino managed three starts in the final four games.
Again, it was largely a season to forget for the Uruguayan. He came close to scoring an equaliser away to Juventus, but for an excellent save from their keeper. Instead, I guess his best moment came against Roma when he capped off a fluid counterattack to score the second goal. It was an example of what Vecino offers – a fast, strong player capable of making late runs into the box to add an extra goalscoring threat from midfield.
What does he need to improve on?
Ensuring a proper recovery from injury will be important, but the only part of his game that is lacking would be his technical ability. The player I would most liken him to in the squad is Barella, however, the Italian is much more adept at close control and has a greater passing range. The Uruguayan possesses all the physical attributes to be a top midfielder and is tactically very intelligent, he just needs to become more dangerous with the ball at his feet.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
There are rumours linking him to a reunion with Luciano Spalletti at Napoli, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the last of Vecino in an Inter shirt. He’s 29 so this would be the last chance for the club to recoup much of the sum they paid Fiorentina for him four years ago. However, if he stays, he’s probably the closest thing Inter has to Sergei Milinkovic Savic, and Inzaghi may choose to use him in that role. When Lazio was being pressed high, SMS would move closer to the front two and almost act as a midfield target man capable of bringing those around him into play. Vecino has good aerial ability, and the intelligence and stamina to make forward runs when necessary. However, SMS is a vastly superior player so it remains to be seen whether this approach would be as successful for Inter as it was for the Aquile.