So on request, I've decided to do slightly more indepth profiles on Duncan & MBaye. As you know, I've seen a reasonable amount of both of them, and got a good feel for their style of play by now.
Position: Defensive midfielder
He's a bit like: Yaya Toure at Barcelona
He's a defensive midfielder, but he's by no means what people will (and on here have) assume to translate to the Muntari-esque destroyer. Duncan offers much more than that, his ability to read the game is quite impressive - much more so than the headless chicken sprinter people naively assume him to be. He's a beast in midfield, often the focal point infront of defense starting our attacks. He's got a good range of passing, as well as good vision in selecting the right pass.
The best way to describe him is a mix between Cambiasso and Thiago Motta, except not quite as technically capable. That is not to say he isn't technically capable, of course, but he's got a way to go before he reaches the level of Motta. Where Duncan does start to excel is his occasional box-to-box midfielding, and you're very likely to see him popping up at the edge of the area searching for loose rebounds to volley into the goal. Which he has done a few times, in the Primavera level.
He continues to dominate in the youth games he plays, moreso than his previous year, and his impact in the defensive phase of the midfield play can be comparable to Bessa's impact in the offensive phase.
The main areas for improvement for him, in my opinion, would be to enhance his tactical side. He's very good on the Primavera level already, but he needs to learn to translate that to the more experienced first team game. It's hard to predict how much he'll feature this coming year, as we've got alot of the more defensive midfielders, but I would like to see Duncan as an attacking midfielder. This might sound crazy, but I think playing someone like Duncan that far up to place pressure on the opponents when they get the ball back in their own defensive phase, plus his attacking attributes, mean he could be quite dangerous there when played properly in tandum with a trequartista.
Most likely to see him: Hitting a clean volley at the edge of the box
Will never see him: Drifting out wide
Position: LB/LWB and at a push, CB
He's a bit like: Juan Jesus / Davide Santon
The comparison here is sort of not great, but it's hard for me to tihnk of anyone immediately who he could compare to. He's a very defensively-technically capable player, with a good ability to read the game, very good at marking, tackling, and so on. Played primarily at left-back, it has been rare to see good left backs come through at Inter in the last few decades. MBaye reminds me of Santon when he first burst onto the scene, dominating anyone who appears coming down his side and closing down opportunities well. He demonstrates at time an ability to drift forward as well - something I felt he perhaps did a little too much of on his first team debut.
It's hard to predict how he will feature this coming season, as if we stick to the current 3 centre back formation, it's clear he will rarely play. He has, however, already pre-agreed a new contract for November (when he turns 18), and its clear he has some strong loyalties to the club - stating it was not even a question of money. My complaints about him are, as with most youth players, inexperience. As a technical defender, he's absolutely excellent at the moment. But what he needs to work on, are things like tactical naivety and knowing when to go forward and when not to.
The one big red flag to mention with regards to MBaye, however, is his tenancy for getting wound up easily. In 3 consecutive finals (Primavera scudetto, NextGen, Primavera Supercoppa) he either recieved a red card, or risked one. In the NextGen final, he was given a straight red card in the first half for stamping an Ajax player, leaving Inter to play over 90 minutes of football with 10 men. In the Primavera final, a slight scuffle occurred at one point, and MBaye was quick to run the length of the pitch to get involved and start shoving people. Now I could not be 100% certain, but I thought I saw him throw a punch in that event as well. Either way, doing quite that to get involved (rather than calm down the event) is something he should not have done. Then, in the Primavera Supercoppa, he was given a straight red again (perhaps harshly) for elbowing.
The lessons are there, and they need to be learned, he's been given plenty of warning now - but as he's only 17, I wouldn't worry about it too much yet. I have confidence that over the next couple of years, this spell will abate in him.
Most likely to see him: Stopping everything coming down his side
Will never see him: Taking on and beating a player whilst roaming forward
He's a bit like: Andres Iniesta
Position: Roaming attacking midfielder
The Iniesta comment is not unjust - Barcelona apparently have been chasing this player in the last year or so. He's got phenomenal vision, the range of passing skills that would fit him in at Barcelona, and he's delivered consistently for Inter. He's scored a large number of goals, leading even Longo in the goalscoring charts, with a large number of goals from set-pieces as well as a range sniper. Combined between assists and goals, Bessa was probably responsible for 80% of the Primavera goals last year. I can not wait until he breaks out for the first team, I've been dreaming of the potential Bessa-Coutinho link up. If we revert to a Mourinho-style 4-2-3-1, I'd love to see:
Indeed I was in favour of signing Lucas Moura, and I would have loved to have seen Coutinho Bessa Moura, as I feel that trident has the full attacking range that you require. In Moura we would have had a quick player, with the speed and technical capability to directly take players on, Bessa with world class vision and passing, allowing Inter to have fluid attacking play, and in Coutinho someone with a nice mixture of the two attributes.
My criticism of Bessa is that when the game gets a bit more physical, or when he gets more isolated, he quickly gets removed from the game. When isolated, he has a tenancy to drift significantly and roam trying to seek the ball, and lose tactical discipline.
Most likely to see him: With his back to the goal looking for a through ball to make
Will never see him: Backtracking for defensive duties past the half-way line
I must say, though, between the three players above, and the players I commented on in the other article, the future is bright for Inter.