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How Shaqiri and Podolski Will Change How Inter Milan Play

curva_InterEver since Roberto Mancini took over from Mazzarri he has moaned how the structure of the squad was not set up to play his style of football. In particular Mancini has commented repeatedly about the team’s lack of wingers.

Well that has all changed with the signings this week of Xherdan Shaqiri and Lukas Podolski. I expect Podolski to play out on the left, and Shaqiri on the right in what will be a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation.

These two signings will have a huge impact on who I consider to be the cornerstone of the club’s future; Mauro Icardi and Mateo Kovacic.

The addition of two wingers who can deliver quality crosses into the penalty box will allow Icardi to play to his strengths. Now Icardi will be able to run on to balls rather than having to come deep to receive them. Playing closer to the opponents goal should present Inter’s top marksman with more goalscoring opportunities in the second half of the season.
Potentially the greatest advantage of Shaqiri and Podolski’s introduction is how this will alter Kovacic’s role. He will still remain behind Icardi but the fact that Inter can now play with two genuine wide players will help stretch the play immeasurably.

This in turn will free up Kovacic, who will be able to operate much more effectively with runners off him. This season he has had little or none of this, and things have been congested in the middle of the field.

For the first time in three or four years Inter fans are optimistic about their sides chances this season. Ahead of this weekend’s match at home to Genoa, Inter are 8 points behind Lazio for that third and final Champions League place. With a favorable schedule for the next six weeks, this is the opportunity for Mancini’s side to go on a run and close that gap. Can they is the big question?