With Inter’s 2022/23 season somehow just days away, it’s time for another SoM gathering as we prepare for the new campaign. We go over everything from transfer grades to expectations for the upcoming year, and of course, what we’re looking forward to most.
Q: How would you grade Inter’s summer transfer market? Of the new signings (Mkhitaryan, Asllani, Bellanova, Onana, and Lukaku), who will be most successful? Is anyone going to surprise?
David: B-. Getting Lukaku back on loan was superb, young depth in the form of Bellanova and Asllani was desperately needed, and Mkhitaryan is a solid pick-up. However, Inter still hasn’t been able to offload a lot of deadwood and has next to no defensive depth. The failure to upgrade on De Vrij will come back to hurt and I’m also far from sold on a season of Dzeko and Correa as backup strikers.
Josh: At the very least this transfer window would be a B, and if they had snagged one of Bremer or Dybala I would say A.
In terms of what player will be the most successful, it’s easy to say Lukaku will be the most successful since we’ve already seen it, so that’s what I’ll do. The easy route is often the most correct and I see the least amount of obstacles to his being incredible in an Inter kit again.
Q: How much will Inter regret missing out on Bremer and Dybala?
David: A lot. Both of them would have been perfect fits to Inzaghi’s system and just what Inter needed to make the leap to the next level. Instead, they’re going to direct rivals (and yes, I think this is the year Roma joins Serie A’s elite) and the Bremer miss will become even more painful should Skriniar get sold, but hopefully, we avoid that doomsday scenario.
Josh: This is a really good question, and I think I have to reframe it in my head to make sense of it. They will miss out on both because both are great players. But I’m going to answer it this way, I think they’ll miss out on Bremer more.
There are few things more important than a stellar defender when you get in vital league games. If injury issues become more of a problem in the attack, then I’ll be proven wrong, but in the meantime, I believe Bremer is a bigger miss.
Q: What are your thoughts on Lukaku coming back?
David: An in-form Lukaku is just what Inter needed last season and getting him back after just one season is a coup. He’ll slot right back into the XI and (hopefully) into the goalscoring charts if all goes to plan. I do have some apprehension though, as Lukaku under Inzaghi could be very different than Conte and it’s just a one-year loan so we could be back to square one in a year’s time. Still, it’s hard to believe Big Rom is back whatsoever and I’m pretty excited to see him terrorize Serie A defenses once again.
Josh: If I could put a drooling emoji I would. I loved the Lautaro-Lukaku combination so much and I never thought I’d see it again. So I’m all positive for Rom being back. He did what he did, and now he’s back. He should thrive back with Lautaro in Serie A.
Q: What’s one concern you have for Inter’s 2022/23 campaign?
David: Preseason hasn’t been convincing at all but I tend to not give much weight to games until they actually matter - although I slacked off a bit myself and didn’t watch any of preseason so maybe the performances were even more worrying than the results. So while I won’t make any sweeping judgments yet, I can’t help but remember how Inter played down the stretch last season and how stale it looked. While Lukaku should help out a lot, the rest of the starting XI is almost exactly the same (Gosens is a downgrade on Perisic, and who knows if Onana will actually get game time) and depth-wise Inter will have a lot of the same problems as last season. Hopefully, another year with Inzaghi at the helm will lead to teamwide improvement (more of a dream than anything else) and Lukaku’s goals paper over the rest of the cracks.
Josh: Although I just got done saying I was more concerned about losing out on Bremer, I am concerned about the attack when we need help off the bench. Correa and Džeko can be capable of being enough of a boost on the bench, but their inconsistency still frightens me.
Q: On the flip side, what are you looking forward to?
David: Lukaku’s return, seeing what Asllani and Bellanova offer, and most importantly, another season of this crazy club we all love so much.
Josh: Is it bad to say not seeing Samir Handanović every match? André Onana excites me and at least they have options based on form now. That makes me happy.
Q: And lastly, what are your expectations for Year 2 under Inzaghi in Serie A, the Champions League, and Coppa Italia?
David: Improvement on last season should always be the goal, so the Scudetto and another appearance in the UCL knockout stage is a reasonable ask. The former definitely won’t be easy with Milan and Juventus both improving but Lukaku should be the difference maker Inter desperately needed. Another Coppa Italia would be nice but it's hard to bank on a cup tournament.
Josh: Domestically, anything but a Scudetto win would be a tad disappointing. In terms of Europe, I just want them to make it out of their group and compete in the knockout stage. I truly believe if they peak at the right time they can be a top 5ish team in Europe, and I hope they get a chance to show that.
How would you grade the transfer market? Is Lukaku Inter’s missing piece? Let us know in the comments below.