A new-look Inter Milan squad have taken Serie A by storm at the start of a campaign which promises much for Roberto Mancini’s men.
Inter proved to be one of the most active clubs in the Italian transfer window this summer, bringing in 16 senior players since the end of last season, while letting go of a whopping 20 – including those who failed to convert loan moves into permanent contracts.
The Nerazzurri splashed serious money on Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, Atletico Madrid centre-back Miranda, Stevan Jovetic of Manchester City and Wolfsburg winger Ivan Perisic.
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Meanwhile, deadline day deals for Galatasaray pair Felipe Melo and Alex Telles, plus Roma forward Adem Ljajic, rounded off a hectic few months.
Jovetic, in particular, set off like a train when hitting all three Inter goals notched within the two rounds of action completed.
Admittedly, their opening matches were against Atalanta at home and Carpi away, both of whom they would have fully expected to overcome. Plus, it took a last-minute strike in each game to secure the six-point haul they currently boast.
Even so, it remains hugely encouraging for fans who were forced to witness an awful 2014-15 term, when their beloved team finished in a disappointing 8th place.
Further encouragement for the Beneamata can be found with a quick scan of the latest Serie A standings.
Struggling reigning champions Juventus have lost their opening two games of a new league campaign for the first time in history.
Udinese surprisingly defeated their illustrious foes 1-0 in Turin, while genuine title contenders Roma claimed a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico in order to rub further salt into the Old Lady’s gaping wounds.
Inter have taken full advantage of that inauspicious beginning to surge clear, as one of five teams to have won on both Serie A outings. And, with all due respect, the others in that category – Chievo, Torino, Sassuolo and Palermo – are highly unlikely to last the pace over the course of a gruelling year.
Mancini insisted upon a raft of recruits to give him an opportunity to become successful this season, and he will feel vindicated by the results achieved.
MIND THE GAP
Bigger tests await the Nerazzurri after the international break, with city rivals AC Milan ready for battle on September 13. They must also face in-form Chievo, Fiorentina and Sampdoria before the middle of October.
Then, an absolutely titanic clash is scheduled for October 18, when Mancini’s men host Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus.
Should Inter continue their splendid form until that potential tipping point, it could well lead to the Milanese giants extending a mammoth chasm between themselves and the beleaguered Bianconeri.
It’s still early days, but the Serie A joint-leaders have made the most prominent statement of all the possible Scudetto pretenders to date – and the confidence gained from such a solid start could fire them all the way to championship glory.