Inter, via Onana is the deal of the year for Sommer

A bad mistake (yet another) by the Cameroonian goalkeeper, taken for zero and sold for 52.5 million euros, cost United the defeat yesterday. While his replacement for the Nerazzurri kept the team in the match against Real Sociedad with two decisive interventions

by our correspondent Sebastiano Vernazza

– San Sebastian (Spain)

This summer almost all Inter fans were flagellating themselves over the sale of André Onana to Manchester United. A necessary act from a financial point of view. The Cameroonian goalkeeper, taken for free by Ajax in 2022, was sold for 52 and a half million euros, plus five bonuses. A gigantic and real capital gain that allowed Inter to finance the transfer market and sort out the accounts.

among the criticisms

To replace him, Marotta and Ausilio bought Yann Sommer from Bayern Munich for 6 million and criticism rained in: he is old because he is 34 years old, he is short because he is 1.83 meters tall, an inadequate size for a goalkeeper today. Football, however, is strange and what seemed like a downgrade in light of the first day of the new Champions League has become an improvement. Onana, in Bayern Munich-Manchester United 4-3, made yet another mistake in this first part of the season. Sommer, in San Sebastian against Real Sociedad, kept Inter in the game with at least two decisive and notable interventions, and in the end the 1-1 draw came from Lautaro. This is why today we can say that Inter gained from the transition from Onana to Sommer.

soft hands

Onana had obvious responsibility for Bayern’s first goal, a shot by Sané from outside, central and not irresistible, but the United goalkeeper punctured the catch and the ball went into the net. A mistake in which various imperfections add up: incorrect posture, lack of concentration, “soft” hands. In 6 appearances for United, 5 in the Premier League and one in the Champions League, Onana has already conceded 14 goals, of which 10 in the league and 4 in Europe, more than two goals on average per game. It’s not all his fault, this United team has disappointed so far, but Onana has returned to being the fluctuating goalkeeper seen at Ajax. During the season at Inter he had achieved a reliability that he immediately lost once he left Milan.

decisive interventions

Sommer was under pressure in San Sebastian and withstood the knocks with a bit of luck. He was saved by the post at the start of the match on a shot by Barrenetxea and by the crossbar on a header by Merino in the second half. However, he made two highly difficult interventions, at the worst moment of the second half, when Real Sociedad’s 2-0 seemed like a matter of moments. Before him he did well to defuse a poisonous free kick from Mendez, he sensed that the Basque midfielder would place the ball on the post covered by the barrier and quickly took the right step to his right and deflected it. Then he showed an exceptional reflex on Oyarzabal’s header two steps from goal and kept Inter in the match, until Lautaro’s 1-1 draw.

what numbers!

Sommer, unlike Onana, can show off flattering numbers. In this first part of the season he has conceded only two goals in 5 games, 4 in Serie A and one in the Champions League. In the championship he beat Leao, in the derby won by Inter 5-1. In Europe, Mendez overtook him, thanks to Bastoni’s blunder on the way out. On neither network can any great blame be placed on Sommer. On the one in Spain there was zero responsibility, on the one against Milan we can perhaps nitpick because the ball passed under his left glove, but it was raining, the ball was heavy and the shot was powerful. Sommer’s impact on Inter was important. We are talking about a goalkeeper with 291 appearances in the Bundesliga, 92 in European cups, 84 in the Swiss national team.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 20: Yanno Sommer of FC Internazionale in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Sociedad and FC Internazionale at Reale Arena on September 20, 2023 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

the new trainer

A mature player who happened to be in the right place at the right time, in the summer in which Inter secured the services of Gianluca Spinelli, coach of the most appreciated goalkeepers in the world, a highly specialized technician who helps young people grow and who knows how improve goalkeepers with a great past behind them, like Sommer, without hurting their pride. Maybe it’s too early to say too much, the season has just begun, but yes, the first day of the Champions League said that Onana to United for 52-57 million and Sommer to Appiano for 6 could be one of the deals of the year.