3. Edin Dzeko (Joined Inter Milan from AS Roma – free transfer)
You really thought Inter Milan were in the mud, didn’t you? Oh, the naivety!
At the halfway point in the 2021/22 season, reigning champions Inter sit atop Serie A with a four-point lead over their crosstown rivals AC. There have been a multitude of factors in their continued success this term; the smooth transition of systems and the stout back three being two, but perhaps the biggest factor has been the success of their signings.
The summer departures of Antonio Conte, the man who oversaw it all, Romelu Lukaku, the team’s unstoppable striker, and Achraf Hakimi, the final piece in the jigsaw, had many fearing/ready to enjoy Inter’s demise in 2021/22.
That hasn’t been the case, by any means, and Edin Dzeko’s form alongside Lautaro Martinez up top has gone a long way in mitigating the loss of their superstar Belgian. Dzeko lacks the in behind threat, the destructive power and the ruthlessness of Lukaku, but his astuteness has seen him thrive in Nerazzurri colours. His tendency to withdraw from the forward line and overload the midfield has seen him emerge as the ‘connector’ of attacks, while his physical stature allows him to function as an efficient focal point as well.
The Bosnian’s a monster in the air, and he’s more than contributed in the final third. Dzeko has eight Serie A goals this season, and his effective performance in the first half of the season led to Inter CEO Beppe Maratto saying: “Lukaku was sold for €115 million and we bought Dzeko for nothing. And, on the pitch, there isn’t much difference”.
High praise, indeed.
Continues onto the next slide…