Have Inter Finally Turned A Corner?

Despite breaking even in the summer transfer market, it was widely acknowledged that Inter had done some great business. The players that were brought in were more suited to the system and philosophy of Luciano Spalletti than those who left, and it was just a matter of time before that would bear fruit on the pitch.

However, the season did not start too well. One win from their first four league matches left the Milan club languishing in the lower half of the table. And two late goals in the Champions League win over Tottenham Hotspur glossed over what was an unconvincing performance overall.

There was never a question there would be a bedding in period this term, so it was no surprise when the club chose to show patience with the coach when some were starting to call for his head. For all his technical talent, there were genuine doubts about his ability to install a winning mentality at the club. But, by the start of the international break in October, things started to look up.

Inter currently sit in third place in the Serie A table, just two points behind Napoli, and are level on points with Barcelona in Group B of the Champions League, six points ahead of third-ranked Tottenham. The performances have improved and there is an air of confidence building around the squad.

The real test will come after the next setback: Will Spalletti be able to keep his players’ heads up? How will they react? Can they make the tactical switches required to win key games? The upcoming clashes against rivals AC Milan and Barcelona will reveal if Inter have finally turned a corner or if it is just another false dawn.

Inter have now gone seven years without a trophy, a fact that seemed inconceivable after their incredible run of success in the post-millennium period. In that same period, Spalletti has won the Russian Premier League, Russian Cup and Russian Cup with Zenit St Petersburg, having previously won two Coppa Italia and one Supercoppa Italiana with Roma in the 2000s. Bringing glory back to Inter would represent his greatest achievement so far. The club are currently 6/1 to win the Coppa Italia and 33/1 in the Serie A betting.

One of the players who could be crucial in helping the coach in his quest is Lautaro Martinez. The highly-rated youngster looks like the real deal and already has a goal to his name having scored against Cagliari. He has only started twice so far for the Nerazzurri but a goal for Argentina in only his second ever start during the international break should see his confidence rise further.

The 21-year-old’s rise to the elite level has been a sudden one but he seems to be taking it all in his stride. The €16m fee that Inter paid Racing Club in the summer already looks like a bargain. By next summer - if he continues on his current trajectory - that figure should have doubled at least.