Home » Teams » Inter Milan » Inter Milan Transfers – Mauro Icardi The New Number 9

Inter Milan Transfers – Mauro Icardi The New Number 9

Guarin put such a good ball at my feet, so the only thing I could do was put it in.”- Mauro Icardi, July 2013.

This was Mauro Icardi’s reaction to scoring his first goal for Inter Milan in a 1-1 draw pre-season game with Hamburg in July, and it may not be the last time you see this formula for scoring a goal at Inter Milan this season.

The young Argentine signed for the Nerazzurri this year after two seasons with Sampdoria in what must be considered a complete rebuild of the Inter team. Ninth in Serie A was all an ageing Inter Milan team could muster in the 2012/2013 season; the lowest point in what seems to be a massive post- Jose Mourinho decline.

And goals have not been particularly in abundance, with Rodrigo Palacio and Diego Milito contributing just 21 between them all season. Antonio Cassano’s sporadic form didn’t help the cause either, and seen him make the move to Parma recently. Goal-rich they did not appear to be, however the emergence of Icardi last season saw Inter make the move for the man who could very well be a star at the San Siro.

At just 20 years of age, Mauro Icardi had somewhat of a breakthrough season with Sampdoria last season. 10 goals in 31 appearances helped Serie A take notice of the former Barcelona striker, including a brace against champions-to-be Juventus at their home ground and a healthy 4 goals in the 6-0 demolition of Pescara. 14th was the eventual finish for the Blucerchiati, and it was to be the last season for Icardi at the Stadio Luigi Ferrraris.

The move to Inter sees Icardi back to a team who really should be at the heart of European competition, notably the UEFA Champions League. As a youngster, Icardi learned at the pinnacle of football youth set-ups, La Masia, and did so for 3 years. Barcelona, however, allowed the youngster to leave for Italy on loan initially, with a view to a permanent transfer a year later-an option that Sampdoria gladly accepted. His pace, awareness and eye for goal were obvious to see, and has resulted in the number 9 shirt at one of Italy’s biggest clubs. There is bound to be a pressure and an expectance on the striker in the upcoming season, with Inter desperate to get back to the summit of the Serie A table, or at the very least, Champions League qualification.

With the creative help of teammates like Freddy Guarin and Rodrigo Palacio, goals should continue to come for Icardi; such support and quality was not at hand regularly with Sampdoria, but the youngster made the very best of what he had. The goal against Hamburg gave us a glimpse of what could be, with a sublime pass from Guarin allowing a first time predatory finish from Icardi. Continuing to finish chances like this and scoring regularly could also help his push for a full call up for the Argentina National side, with Icardi currently on 5 U20 caps, and 3 goals.

Of course, we see all too often players making the move to a supposed “bigger” side, with too much pressure laid on them from the start. Mauro Icardi is good, without question, but at 20 years old time has to be given from both the fans and the coaching staff in Milan. Inter are nowhere near ready to compete yet, as more signings are needed and of course time to gel together. Icardi is only one piece of the Nerazzurri puzzle, albeit a significant piece.

This season sees Inter embarking on massive change; a new coach at the helm, an ageing side in desperate need of updating with an injection of vibrancy and enthusiasm for the cause, a rumoured possible takeover of the club and a massive gap between them and rivals AC Milan which needs addressed with the upmost urgency. Young players could be the route Mazzarri is taking, with not only Icardi’s arrival, but the additional signing of 21 year old Ishak Belfodil from Parma and the emergence of 19 year old Mateo Kovacic already in the ranks. This blend of young and experienced could be a good platform for Inter to build on and if the service continues to be of a high quality, Mauro Icardi might just be the difference between another mediocre season and a fruitful one.