Big names linked to Inter
…Henry ,Messi, Beckham- but do they fit?
With the winter transfer campaign approaching names are being linked to all the big clubs and being Inter, big names are linked to them. Despite that if any of these transfers had to take place, they are probably going to be concluded during next summer. But as usual the media starts hyping up the things beforehand. The names, which are being linked to the Nerazzurri, are those of Henry, Messi and David Beckham.
From an economical point of view these buys seem very good but the thing that everyone seems to forget is how are these players going to fit in the team. Talking from a tactical point of view, Mancini has to change the starting line-up if he is to adjust these world class players into his present team; a team which finally looks stable and gelled by now.
When talking about the first transfer target for Massimo Moratti, one can say that David Beckham is the ideal replacement for Luis Figo. Figo’s contract expires next June and it will be a good move to opt to bring Beckham to fill in his place. Great crosses, vision, teamwork and set pieces. These are characteristics, which both wingers obtain with Figo being a little more skilful whilst the Englishman has more speed and a defensive dimension to his game too. The possibility of the transfer taking place is increased due to the fact that Beckham may arrive at Via Durini for free and regarding his wages, he is able to keep all the money he gets from advertisements to himself and not share them with the club. He is not able to do this at current club Real Madrid due to the law. This would be an ideal short-term replacement for the right wing but if Inter do want to invest for the future they have to look at better options, which include Cristiano Ronaldo (though very unlikely to leave Man Utd) or Sporting Lisbon’s Nani who lately declared that he would be honoured to join Inter.
Lionel Messi is Moratti’s dream. A dream, which began after he saw him play at the Football World Youth Championship back in June 2005. He would like to celebrate the club’s 100th birthday on 9th March 2008 by luring the 20 year old to the city of Milan. Everyone can understand Moratti wanting to buy a phenomenon of football, a future FIFA World Player candidate but problems arise when one starts to talk tactically: Messi is a supporting striker or a wing forward. So the question is where is Messi going to fit in the 4-4-2 system? Inter have just invested in another world-class player; Ibrahimovic- who is the current supporting striker of the team. The Swede’s performances for the Nerazzurri up to now have been impressive and his goal-scoring rate is increasing too. So what should Mancini do when he actually has Messi at his disposal? Remove Zlatan to put Messi in? It isn’t easy at all considering that these players are not ready to sit on the bench given their status in the world of football. One cannot spend over 100 million € for a backup player just as one cannot remove Ibrahmovic who adapted brilliantly to Mancini’s system.
It is not a question of comparing who is better from Ibrahmovic and Messi. One can argue that Messi can be put on the right wing instead of departing Figo (so buying Messi means that Inter obviously give up on buying Beckham). Despite Messi being fantastic with the ball, has great vision, speed and technique his “Achilles’ heel” is that of going back to defend once possession is lost. This is vital in a 4-4-2 system – when a ball is lost the wingers have to go back and cover. One may also ask why cannot Messi and Zlatan play together? They simply cannot. Neither of them has the sense of goal of a true forward. And a 4-4-2 system generally always has a true forward. Crespo might last 2-3 seasons maximum and then Inter definitely have to think about another centre forward. Seeing that Mancini is sometimes playing with an attacking midfielder behind two strikers with the lack of wings Messi might be brilliant behind the two strikers, with two ball-winning midfielders behind him. Since this system is used occasionally (depending on the opponent) it’s useless to buy Messi for these sort of games only. If Messi is to be bought, he has to be bought for a whole season, especially considering his tag price. It is a reality that Inter fans wish that their system suits Messi rather than wishing to see Messi at Inter. Regarding the chances of Messi leaving Barcelona – they are undoubtedly very little.
With Adriano out of form for nearly over a year now, Inter are thinking of how to replace the Brazilian striker and Moratti is willing to try his luck and buy Thierry Henry who is reportedly in a clash with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Moratti is willing to offer the services of Adriano for those of the Frenchmen. Regarding Henry fitting into Inter’s 4-4-2 system the case is quite similar to that of Messi. One can say though that he is more applicable to the system than the Argentine due to his goal rate. It’s useless to bench either Ibrahimovic or Henry. It is quite evident that the best transfer related to the offensive department has to focus on a centre forward rather than a supporting striker. Crespo’s seasons at Inter are numbered. It could be the case where Henry can partner Ibrahmovic in attack with the latter occupying the supporting striker role. But on the other hand it would be a big mistake to put Henry in the same role of goal poachers like Crespo, Inzaghi and Trezeguet. Henry wants the ball in his feet, he wants to open up spaces, dash past defenders on the wings and not wait for Ibrahimovic to provide him with the balls. Henry leaving Arsenal is quite a debatable statement but nothing is impossible having witnessed the departure of Vieira from the Gunners.
Economically speaking Inter are aiming very high, but technically speaking these transfer targets deserve a revision unless Mancini has a tactical surprise up his sleeve…
Meanwhile during the winter transfer campaign Inter’s main targets are midfielders Almiron from Empoli and Barone from Torino. It is also lately being reported that Inter are also tracking Cagliari striker David Suazo. The only players that could leave are Andreolli and Maxwell on a loan basis.