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Serie A 2019/20: Lecce vs Inter - tactical analysis tactics

Sensible business: Swap deal involving Inter and Napoli is good for both parties

Inter seem to be edging closer to another transfer in the ongoing January transfer window. With Victor Moses and Ashley Young now sealed, the club seems close to signing Allan from Napoli. Matias Vecino would head to Napoli in a swap deal that might just benefit both the parties. With Inter looking to close out their first Serie A title in a long while, this move does make sense and leading online bookmakers are pricing Conte’s men at 4/1.

There is still some uncertainty about whether the deal goes through or not. But if it does, it will be a case of two good deals for both the clubs.

Inter have been linked with Arturo Vidal multiple times in the January window. The deal hasn’t really materialised for them, but it shows what the club has been looking for in midfield. While Christian Eriksen seems on his way to the San Siro, but there seems to be intent about signing a box-to-box midfielder. The chase of Vidal is a big sign of their intent than if they were placing chips at a wisergamblers.com conference in Vegas.

Allan certainly fits the bill too. As things stand, Nicolo Barella has been Antonio Conte’s preferred box-to-box option in the 3-5-2 shape. It was Vecino who took his place. He even got one goal and one assist, starting seven games in a row. All that, when he isn’t exactly a ball-winner.

But that is what Allan is. The Brazilian has won 3.1 tackles per game in the Serie A this season, winning 4.6 tackles per game in the Champions League. Under Maurizio Sarri, he was playing in that box-to-box position, while improving technically.

In Sarri’s last season, Allan won 2.8 tackles per game. He had an average passing percentage of 87 percent, playing 46.6 passes per game for the club. He had Jorginho behind him, playing in the anchorman role and giving him the freedom to do things.

At 29, Inter need that player as back-up for Barella. With the Italian still young, he would benefit from Allan’s presence. He takes some burden off him and Conte to look for a player.

As for Napoli, they did sign Stanislav Lobotka and Diego Demme. They fix the club’s problems in defensive midfield. For a club that was constantly getting overrun in that part of the pitch under Carlo Ancelotti, two deeper midfielders in Demme and Lobotka fix that.

But Vecino adds some work rate to that midfield. He isn’t a ball-winner like Allan is. He does many things right. This season, the Uruguayan has won 1.9 tackles per game. He has a tally of one interception per game too. He takes 1.1 shots per game, playing 0.8 key passes per game.

He adds some more venom to the Napoli midfield. And adds some odd goals too- something Demme and Lobotka won’t. He can be that link between midfield and attack when Fabian Ruiz isn’t playing especially.

And he is younger than his South American counterpart Allan too. Being a hard worker in the heart of the park, he can be what Franck Kessie was to Rino Gattuso at Milan. And Gattuso will surely like that when it comes to his long-term future at the club.

On paper, it shows how smart a club Inter are too. They know that Vecino doesn’t rank high up the pecking order and they know that there is a need for a ball-winning midfielder. As soon as they saw the chance, they are taking full advantage of it.