Inter Milan: Does Wesley Sneijder Have a Future with the Nerazzurri?
Last month, Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni dismissed rumours that he had fallen out with Sneijder (via forzaitalianfootball.com):
There is no misunderstanding with Sneijder. I get angry when people discuss this because he just could not play. At the moment we are figuring out his place in the side because he is a particular kind of player, his location is behind the strikers but he can play further into the midfield.
This article will address the state of Sneijder's contributions to Inter and whether or not he has a future with the Italian club.
Wesley Sneijder's Refusal to Track Back
Andrea Stramaccioni expects every outfielder to press and tackle. This blue collar approach to playing the game is the reason why Inter Milan lead Serie A with 27.5 tackles per game.
There's certainly a bit of José Mourinho in Stramaccioni, who led a mediocre Inter youth side to triumph during the NextGen Series on the back of dogged defending.
Speaking of the Special One, just imagine the awkward moment when he told Samuel Eto'o to play as an auxiliary defender.
Here's the Cameroonian forward in his own words (via ESPN FC): "I'm happy to win as a striker after winning as a defender last season."
Goran Pandev and Diego Milito also fell in line with the need to win back the ball.
The one player under Mourinho's treble winning Inter side that wasn't burdened with defensive duties was Wesley Sneijder.
Stramaccioni has one straggler in his starting XI and that's Antonio Cassano—but like Sneijder for Mourinho, Cassano has been productive with five goals and three assists in league play.
When Inter ended Juventus' 49 game unbeaten run in Serie A, Stramaccioni made one notable tactical adjustment.
From a 3-4-3, which was quite an ambitious formation to play against Juve, he subbed off Cassano for Fredy Guarín, to play as the "1" in a 3-4-1-2.
Nope, not as a prototypical No. 10, but in the Kevin-Prince Boateng mould of an athletic footballer with an eye for goal, who also works hard without the ball.
Who pick-pocketed Andrea Pirlo, accelerated deep into the heart of Juve's defence, unleashed a shot which forced Gianluigi Buffon to palm the ball straight into Diego Milito's path for Inter's vital second goal?
Would Sneijder have outhustled Pirlo? No.
The writing is on the wall for Sneijder because Stramaccioni doesn't need the Dutchman.
Wesley Sneijder's Influence—or Lack Thereof
Andrea Stramaccioni's Inter Milan have won eight straight games without Wesley Sneijder.
His absence hasn't caused Inter to cave in like when José Mourinho answered Florentino Pérez's call in Madrid.
In fact, the Nerazzurri are better without Sneijder.
Two notable victories in the Derby della Madonnina and Derby d'Italia backup that notion.
It Only Makes Sense to Let Wesley Sneijder Go
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) Wesley Sneijder earns €6 million a year.
What was the main rationale in Inter Milan saying arrivederci to Lúcio, Diego Forlán, Maicon and Júlio César? They were nameable overpaid aging stars living off past glory—Sneijder falls into that category.
The Dutchman has yet to play 30 Serie A games in one season because he's injury-prone.
Inter have won eight straight games without him.
If Andrea Stramaccioni persists with a tridente, Sneijder is the square peg in the formation.
It only makes sense for Inter to let Sneijder go.
Comment below with your thoughts.