Inter Milan: How Big a Splash Will the Nerazzurri Make in January?
(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Inter Milan is nearing the quarter pole of the Serie A season.
With nine games now under their belts and November approaching, it's appropriate to look ahead to what Walter Mazzarri's men might do during the winter transfer window.
It's probably safe to say that Inter's biggest summer import was Mazzarri himself.
The former Napoli manager has given the team a crucial element that the team was severely lacking a year ago: tactical stability.
Andrea Stramaccioni changed formations like shirts a season ago, and Inter's players clearly had no idea what to do week to week.
This year, Inter has stuck with Mazzarri's 3-5-1-1 through all nine games.
Player wise, Hugo Campagnaro has probably been the significant signing.
The Argentine followed Mazzarri from San Paolo and has been a rock in the Nerazzurri defense.
His game averages in tackles and interceptions both stand at 3.6, and WhoScored.com rates him as the team's best player so far this season.
But will Inter make any splashy moves this winter?
The answer, barring any serious injury between now and the window's opening, is probably not.
There are several reasons for this likely lack of activity.
The first is simply the time frame.
The January transfer window is usually devoid of momentous movement.
The players who do move are usually spare parts, or as in the case of Wesley Sneijder last year, those who are having it out with their clubs. There have been some big moves in January, but they're not as frequent as they are in the summer.
The second reason is that Inter are only competing domestically this year.
The team doesn't quite need the depth that a team competing in Europe on a bi-weekly basis does.
The squad is currently a bit thin at the front after yet another injury to Diego Milito, but there is sufficient depth to make a competitive run during the rest of the season with only the league and the Coppa Italia to worry about.
A third reason is Inter's recent ownership change.
With the cash infusion the team will get from its new Indonesian ownership group led by Erick Thohir, one might think that the team would start splashing cash.
While that is likely to be the case, the big spending probably won't happen until the summer of 2014. At that point, both the new owners and the new manager will be firmly settled into the team.
Mazzarri will have a clearer idea of what his squad will need after a full season under his belt.
Realistically, he'll need a long-term replacement for the 33-year-old Campagnaro.
But with young players like Ricky Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, Fredy Guarin and Mauro Icardi, he already has a solid foundation in the midfield and attack.
Will Inter make a big move this winter?
It will likely be necessary to acquire another forward this winter.
Milito's health simply can't be counted on, and even without European competition to worry about, it's hard to play with only three forwards in your squad.
Another possible move to upgrade could be made on the flanks, where Mazzarri doesn't quite have his Christian Maggio-type players yet, even though Yuto Nagatomo has played well on the left side.
Major upgrading, though, will probably be done during the summer window or through Inter's solid youth system.
This winter, Inter will probably do the usual business in youth and role players, but don't expect any massive moves until July.
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