The wait is finally over and matchday one is in the books as Inter cruise past Genoa in a 4-0 win. With goals scored by Milan Skriniar, Hakan Calhanoglu, Edin Dzeko, and Arturo Vidal, we finally get a taste of what this new Inter will look like under Simone Inzaghi.
Hakan Calhanoglu in his first official match for Inter takes the Man of the Match award with a goal and assist to his name. Let's just take a quick look at each of the new signings' performance in their debuts in the Inter shirt.
It only took the free transfer from Milan 6 minutes to make his mark with an assist to Milan Skriniar. Hakan provided a perfectly placed corner for the opening goal scored by Skriniar. It didn’t take him much longer to open his goal-scoring account with a beautifully placed shot beating Euro 2020 champion, Salvatore Sirigu (assisted by Edin Dzeko).
In only thirteen minutes, Calhanoglu and Dzeko created two goals to bring in the season. Calhanoglu as mentioned before put on a man of the match performance with a goal and assist, completing 86% of his passes, and was given a match rating of 8.8 by WhoScored. Calhanoglu was very involved in the attack with 5 key passes, the most of any player. Hakan shined in his debut, proving to be an important piece to the attack. His linkup play with Dzeko and his midfield companions looked excellent.
Hakan’s set-piece ability will be very important to the team this season as Inter have constantly missed out on a dangerous set-piece taker. Christian Eriksen temporarily filled that void, but his future with Inter, unfortunately, seems to be coming to an end.
Milanisti warns us of inconsistencies. He started off last season with a bang and eventually fizzled out, coinciding with Milan’s downfall from their superb start to the season. So far so good for the Turkish midfielder, hopefully, the new environment at Inter and Inzaghi can cure the inconsistent tendencies.
There was, and still is a huge question mark in Inters attack without Romelu Lukaku. He’s old, past his best, slow... etc. all valid concerns, but the old man still has it. He linked up with Calhanoglu for the second goal and was constantly involved in the attack. He even created the third goal that Vidal scored with a dangerous attempt from outside the box, forcing a rebound straight to Barella’s feet.
Dzeko finished the match with a rating of 8.7, a couple of key passes, and dribbles completed. I don’t think stats tell the whole story here, but it gives you a slight idea of how good he was. He also was able to go a full 90, which we will wait to see how many times throughout the season he will be able to do that.
His first touch looks smooth as ever, and his strong ability to hold up the ball will be an important piece to the attack. There was one attack where he received a ball that was beamed at his chest, took it down like it was nothing, and kept the ball moving. The big Bosnian still has a lot to offer this team. I don’t want to get anyone excited just yet, but it’s not impossible for a thirty-five-year-old striker to have a top season. We have seen it done by players like Luca Toni, Fabio Quagliarella, Antonio Di Natale.
Why not Dzeko? If he does half of what these guys were able to accomplish, the team around him will do the rest.
Came on in the 84th minute as a substitute, playing as a Right Wing back. Not much to comment on given the short time frame, but I want to note that Inzaghi didn’t take out Darmian which tells me that he may be used in each aspect of the defensive phase. Darmian can play any position in the backline and it seems that Inzaghi is comfortable experimenting with him as a utility back who can play on each flank or even as a makeshift center back.
A positive start from the new signings eases my concerns with the squad going forward. We may have lost two of our most influential players, but they were replaced with some quality signings.
Dzeko will probably not put up thirty goals this year but watching him and the team play together like this, you may not need a single player to drop a thirty bomb. Calhanoglu is an indirect replacement of Eriksen, similar in their attacking mindset and set-piece threat. Dumfries as a Hakimi replacement is the only one I am not sold on. He seems like a tactical work in progress, but if thrown into the fire, his physical presence may make up for it.