Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini is the perfect man to coax the best from his predecessor’s summer signings.
The Italian has succeeded Walter Mazzarri after a dreadful start to the season, and begun life back at the San Siro with a creditable draw against fierce rivals AC Milan last Sunday.
And with ex-Premier League duo Nemanja Vidic and Dani Osvaldo both struggling to adjust to life in Serie A, Mancini is the perfect man to transform their fortunes and get them fit and firing to spearhead their bid for Champions League qualification.
Vidic’s current malaise is most surprising given the way he was once one of the best defenders in the world under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Together he and Rio Ferdinand became the foundations for the rest of the team to thrive, and with Edwin van Der Sar between the sticks played a pivotal role in helping the side go 14 games without conceding a Premier League goal back in 2009.
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He departed after it soon became clear that Ferguson’s successor David Moyes had deemed him surplus to requirements, despite winning five league titles and tasting European glory once in 2008.
Osvaldo had shot to fame as one of the most prolific marksman Italy’s top flight whilst at Roma, but after moving to Southampton last year failed to impress for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
He was shipped back to the country with Juventus but, with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente proving hard to dislodge, failed to make a sufficient impression and was instead returned to St Mary’s.
The 28-year-old started life at Inter swimmingly enough, but has battled with injuries in recent weeks and could play second fiddle to goal machine Mauro Icardi when he returns.
Vidic’s form has faded to the point where he now no longer warrants a starting berth, with a return to Manchester mooted despite leaving less than a year ago.
Osvaldo is constantly in Icardi’s shadow and, despite scoring four times already this term, may not recapture the sharpness that made him such a huge hit in his homeland a few years ago.
Both were used in the wrong roles by Mazzarri, but could use Sunday’s key clash against Rudi Garcia’s Roma as a catalyst for future success with the Nerazzurri.
Failure to impress Mancini could see both cast out and returned to England, and spell a disappointing end to a period at one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.
It may also be the move that signals the beginning of the end of two contrasting, conflicting careers.
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