Uneasy is the head that wears the crown, and no one has offered up the throne to their challengers quicker than Inter.
The Nerazzurri are the current reigning champions of Italy, but that success has come at a hefty price. Inter supporters were three days into their scudetto celebrations when coach Antonio Conte walked away from the club, with rumours circling over financial issues in Milan.
Ashley Young, Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku have all followed their inspirational coach out of the door, and many other superstars are being linked with moves away from San Siro.
New coach Simone Inzaghi faces the impossible task of defending their throne as Serie A champions while simultaneously rebuilding a squad with much less talented stars. So, can Inter supporters dare to dream of a second title in two years, or is it time to lock those ambitions away for another 11 years?
In: Hakan Calhanoglu (free), Edin Dzeko (free), Alex Cordaz (free), Denzel Dumfries (£12m), Matteo Darmian (£1.8m), Zinho Vanheusden (£14m)
Out: Romelu Lukaku (£97.5m), Achraf Hakimi (£60m), Daniele Padelli (released), Joao Mario (released), Radja Nainggolan (released), Ashley Young (released), Dalbert (loan), Sebastiano Esposito (loan), Zinho Vanheusden (loan)
1. Samir Handanovic (GK)
2. Denzel Dumfries (DF)
5. Roberto Gagliardini (MF)
6. Stefan de Vrij (DF)
7. Alexis Sanchez (FW)
8. Matias Vecino (MF)
9. Edin Dzeko (FW)
10. Lautaro Martinez (FW)
11. Aleksandar Kolarov (DF)
12. Stefano Sensi (MF)
13. Andrea Ranocchia (DF)
14. Ivan Perisic (MF)
16. Eddie Salcedo (FW)
18. Lucien Agoume (MF)
19. Valentino Lazaro (MF)
20. Hakan Calhanoglu (MF)
21. Alex Cordaz (GK)
22. Arturo Vidal (MF)
23. Nicolo Barella (MF)
24. Christian Eriksen (MF)
32. Federico Dimarco (DF)
33. Danilo D’Ambrosio (DF)
36. Matteo Darmian (DF)
37. Milan Skriniar (DF)
48. Martin Satriano (FW)
49. Facundo Colidio (FW)
77. Marcelo Brozovic (MF)
95. Alessandro Bastoni (DF)
97. Ionut Radu (GK)
99. Andrea Pinamonti (FW)
As mentioned, last season’s top scorer (and the season before that, too) Lukaku has left Milano. The club was in dire need of cash and when the £97.5m offer arrived from Chelsea, they simply couldn’t turn it down. For the Belgian, it was a dream come true. For Inter, it was the realisation of their worst nightmares.
And so, the responsibility of an entire team falls onto the younger shoulders of Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine has come into his own over the past two years, flourishing alongside Lukaku and also producing on the international stage, winning the 2021 Copa America.
Martinez’s 30 goal contributions were essential to Inter’s success last season, but there was the feeling that allowing him to leave would have been far less damaging than Lukaku’s exit. Now is the time for El Toro to prove he can carry the weight of the city on his shoulders, and step up to become the number one forward in Milano.
Coming of age time, Lautaro.
Inter may have added Edin Dzeko to their forward line, but in Lukaku’s absence, the team could be short on goals. One man who has reassured Nerazzurri supporters of their ability to find the net is 20-year-old Martin Satriano.
The starlet scored 14 goals for the youth team last season, and he has caught the eye with some impressive displays in pre-season. Martinez will miss the opening game of the season through suspension, while Alexis Sanchez won’t be available through injury.
That opens the door for Satriano to stake a claim for himself in this team. Can he force his way into Inzaghi’s thinking? We’ll find out.
Around 200 Serie A matches will be broadcast exclusively on BT Sport for the 2021/22 season.
21 August 2021 – Inter vs Genoa
27 August 2021 – Hellas Verona vs Inter
12 September 2021 – Sampdoria vs Inter
19 September 2021 – Inter vs Bologna
22 September 2021 – Fiorentina vs Inter
26 September 2021 – Inter vs Atalanta
3 October 2021 – Sassuolo vs Inter
17 October 2021- Lazio vs Inter
24 October 2021 – Inter vs Juventus
27 October 2021 – Empoli vs Inter
31 October 2021 – Inter vs Udinese
7 November 2021 – Milan vs Inter
21 November 2021 – Inter vs Napoli
28 November 2021 – Venezia vs Inter
1 December 2021 – Inter vs Spezia
5 December 2021 – Roma vs Inter
12 December 2021 – Inter vs Cagliari
19 December 2021 – Salernitana vs Inter
22 December 2021 – Inter vs Torino
6 January 2022 – Bologna vs Inter
9 January 2022 – Inter vs Lazio
16 January 2022 – Atalanta – Inter
23 January 2022 – Inter vs Venezia
6 February 2022 – Inter vs Milan
13 February 2022 – Napoli vs Inter
20 February 2022 – Inter vs Sassuolo
27 February 2022 – Genoa vs Inter
6 March 2022 – Inter vs Salernitana
13 March 2022 – Torino vs Inter
20 March 2022 – Inter vs Fiorentina
3 April 2022 – Juventus vs Inter
10 April 2022 – Inter vs Hellas Verona
16 April 2022 – Spezia vs Inter
24 April 2022 – Inter vs Roma
1 May 2022 – Udinese vs Inter
8 May 2022 – Inter vs Empoli
15 May 2022 – Cagliari vs Inter
22 May 2022 – Inter vs Sampdoria
Home: Inspired by a daring snakeskin design with the new crest.
Away: First of its kind snake pattern around the shirt, while boasting the new crest.
Third – TBC
It’s rare that a positive season can be born from the depths of such a miserable summer of outgoings and pessimism. Inter are the defending champions, but they’re nobody’s favourites to lift the trophy this season.
In fact, with AS Roma strengthening over the summer, Juventus under the stewardship of Massimiliano Allegri once more, and top-four specialist Luciano Spalletti taking over at SSC Napoli, I Nerazzurri’s Champions League qualification is under threat.
We wouldn’t be overly surprised if they did slip out of the top four, but we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt to not completely fall off a cliff this year. Still, hold on to those memories, Inter fans, because this year could prove extremely challenging.
4th in Serie A, Champions League group stages, domestic cup semi-finals.