Inter Milan: The Top Talents in Their Youth Academy
Inter Milan are often accused of being an old team, and that is frequently cited as a reason why the Nerazzuri could only muster a Europa League place last season after winning the Champions League three years ago.
The good news for fans is that there are some really bright, young talents coming through the system that really catch the eye and could help the squad in the near future by injecting some energy into a team that looks a little lethargic at times.
Let's look at a few of the boys that we can look forward to seeing in the near future.
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Longo is visibly quite raw, even to my untrained eye, as he wastes too many chances and often shoots from disadvantageous positions.
That can easily be worked out, however, and Longo has the potential to be a very prolific striker with his physical tools if he can round out his game a little bit..
His large frame allows him to win many aerial duels that others cannot, and, while he won't be quite as successful in that area as he faces more mature defenders, Longo's spirit allows him to keep his fantastic work rate up.
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In 2010, Crisetig became the youngest player to play for Italy's U-21 side at only 17 years old, so it's not hard to see why he is being touted as one of the future orchestrators of Inter's midfield.
Crisetig plays roughly the Esteban Cambiasso role, meaning that he can pull the strings from deep within the midfield, with a wide passing range and the ability to make a tough tackle, if necessary.
He's also capable of filling in on the left wing or at left-back, which should make it a bit easier for him to break into the first team. And, if he performs well on loan with Spezia, he might do just that.
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Roughly speaking, Duncan fits that Sulley Muntari mold of a strong, determined midfielder whose energy and commitment cannot be undervalued, while his crisp passing and tough tackling are much appreciated.
His tremendous strength belies his 19-year-old age, but, the level he plays at makes it almost impossible for opponents to beat him in physical duels. Obviously, that won't be the case in Serie A, but, given more time to develop, Duncan could turn into a beast.
As with many tough-tackling, hard-working defensive midfielders of his ilk, Duncan could do with improving his discipline and composure when on the pitch, but those are the things that are learned with playing time.
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Already a cultured defender at the tender age of 19, Bianchetti has deservedly been pulled into Inter's first team.
He falls more under the "technical defender" category, meaning that he is at his best with the ball at his feet and challenging an attacker who is moving the ball on the ground, rather than through the air.
Very versatile, Bianchetti can line up in either center-back position or as the right back, but he will need to cut down on little mistakes that cost a team over the course of a game or season and build up his relatively slender frame, if he wishes to seriously contend for a first-choice place.
Based on what he has shown already at 19, Bianchetti is the real deal.
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Bessa is considered by some to be the best talent in Inter's youth ranks, and the attacking midfielder's exploits for the youth side have been noticeable.
The archetypal trequartista, Bessa is a magician with the ball at his feet in true Brazilian style and always looks to find that one key pass to release a teammate or unlock a defence.
The problem with him has historically been consistency, but he has performed at a very high level on a routine basis lately, and if he can keep that pace of development up, he'll be playing in Serie A before too long.