Inter, Arnautovic’s injury and the attackers: Klaassen and Mkhitaryan’s ideas

The Nerazzurri coach has already explained that the club will use a free agent to replace the Austrian, who is out at least a month and a half: the wildcards in the squad, plus the talent of the Primavera

Matteo Nava

Don’t panic, Inter has a well-equipped squad full of versatile, top-quality players. It cannot be denied, however, that Marko Arnautovic’s muscle injury ruined the rotation plans of the players that Simone Inzaghi was shaping day by day. Trivially: Lautaro Martinez played all six matches as a starter, while Marcus Thuram only started from the bench in the Champions League away to Real Sociedad in favor of the Austrian international. It is clear that this is an unsustainable pace in light of the double weekly commitment and it cannot be ruled out that a Bull appeared tired and was expected on the bench on Wednesday against Sassuolo at the Giuseppe Meazza. Without Arnautovic, however, the forecasts must be thrown away and reformulated.

From Chile for Inzaghi

It is clear, in fact, that with only three attackers in the squad, Alexis Sanchez is destined to see his playing time increase significantly. The impact from the bench in San Sebastian was very positive in terms of ideas and determination, but it was the only moment in which the Chilean was seen on the pitch for long enough to be evaluated. Twenty-one minutes in Spain, nine in Empoli: half an hour in total, probably too little to give him a starting shirt as early as Wednesday. Perhaps we can talk about it again for Saturday’s away match against Salernitana. Beyond the short-term critical issues, however, the “grain” takes on greater importance in the medium term. And he takes it on precisely because the starters will need to take breaks this autumn and because the matches will sometimes require Inzaghi’s on-the-fly substitutions for a turning point or simply for new blood. Sanchez will be fundamental, in fact, but it may not be enough.

The three names

Starting from certainties, Inzaghi confirmed that the company will not intervene in the free agent market. So, we draw from the squad: everything, or almost everything, revolves around the names mentioned by the coach himself after the 0-1 in Empoli. Two players already in the group, in fact, can take on the role of second striker. They are Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Davy Klaassen, curiously two profiles also valid in the directorial role as assistant to Hakan Calhanoglu: the Armenian also played in that role for Roma (as well as in the Inter-Monza final in mid-August), the Dutchman done several times in his career. Both would be readjusted, but they have a strong sense of goal and a CV full of goals. At the moment the impression is that – barring unforeseen circumstances – the starting shirts will be reserved for the three established attackers, but that Mkhitaryan and Klaassen could be invaluable during the match. A side note: as second strikers, they will have to communicate with a striker who knows how to take on the centre-forward’s duties. Generally more Lautaro than Thuram, almost certainly not Sanchez. In any case, for at least half of the autumn Inzaghi will not have the center forward that he requested for a long time in the summer. Finally, it is very likely that the coach will decide to integrate a Primavera striker into the squad at least for numerical reasons: the number one candidate is Amadou Makhtarlayi Sarr, an Italian born in Senegal in 2004 who has already scored two goals this season with Cristian Chivu (one in championship, one in the Youth League) and already called up by Inzaghi against Cagliari and Fiorentina when Sanchez was not available.