The cancellation of the Florida Cup left Inter scrambling for preseason plans, but the schedule turmoil doesn’t seem to have affected the Nerazzurri too much. After beating Serie C side Pergolettese 8-0 Sunday, Inter put six past Crotone on Wednesday. New arrival Hakan Calhanoglu was particularly impressive, scoring once and bagging a hat-trick of assists. Primavera striker Martin Satriano was once again on the scoresheet, along with Federico Dimarco, Andrea Pinamonti, Stefano Sensi, and Marcelo Brozovic.
It’s hard to take away anything substantial from preseason but the play of Calhanoglu and Dimarco has been impressive enough to generate excitement for their debuts (or in Dimarco’s case, his first shot at consistent playing time) in an Inter kit come August. Simone Inzaghi has confirmed that the 23-year-old defender will stay in Milan despite interest from Roma, and Dimarco looks primed for a major role in the 2021/22 campaign. He’s comfortable as either left wingback or center back and showed himself to be a danger in the final third from his time at Hellas Verona. The most impressive aspect of Dimarco’s skill set is his magical left boot and an almost unmatched set-piece quality.
As for Calhanoglu, his creating abilities were on full display against Crotone. Inzaghi went on to say “We got him for this reason. He worked very well together with his teammates, today he was very good, as was the whole team,” in his post-game comments. The 27-year-old had an up-and-down career at Milan but there’s no doubt that he has the quality and talent to succeed at Inter. The switch to a 3-5-2 from a 4-2-3-1 could enable Calhanoglu’s creativity in the manner we saw today. The link-up on the left-flank between him and Dimarco is already showing signs of promise as well.
Inter’s Starting XI (3-5-2)
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij (Moretti 71), Kolarov (Ranocchia 46); Darmian (Carboni 75), Nainggolan (Sensi 46), Brozovic (Agoume 71), Calhanoglu (Vidal 57), Dimarco (Zanotti 75); Satriano (Lukaku 46), Pinamonti (Salcedo 71)
- Satriano 10’
- Dimarco 22’
- Calhanoglu 27’
- Pinamonti 56’
- Sensi 58’
- Brozovic 65’