New Inter Milan owner Erick Thohir has backed the youth movement at the San Siro, and declared that he has arrived in Milan to win.
Upon taking over from long-time owner Massimo Moratti as the majority shareholder, Indonesian Thohir stated that he believes in youth, and will be encouraging a youth-first philosophy during his tenure, which includes slashing the wage bill, offloading high earners, and placing an increased focus on the youth academy at the club.
'My dream? It’s to use more players from the youth team, which is doing very well in their own championship,' Thohir said. 'We need to be confident. I think a number of younger Italian players are worth giving a shot in the first team to show what they have to offer.'
Whilst Inter have produced some good players in recent years like Mattia Destro and Giulio Donati, they weren't given opportunities in the first team and were sold on, whilst even Davide Santon and Phillippe Coutinho were let go in order to raise funds for the first team, and the latter is flourishing with Liverpool in the Premier League.
In recent times though, they have returned to a reliance on youth, as their decent start to the season has been founded upon the emergence of young stars such as Mateo Kovacic, Juan Jesus, Saphir Taider, Ishak Belfodil and Mauro Icardi, the oldest of which is 22 year old Juan Jesus. With 25 year old Ricardo Alvarez also providing a key role, it seems Inter are moving away from the old guard, many of which won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010, though none of the younger players are Italian.
And under new manager Walter Mazzarri, Inter are off to a good start in Serie A, sitting in fifth place after eight games, and whilst their 7-0 demolition of Sassuolo was most certainly the high, the 3-0 loss at home to Roma was the undoubted low at this early stage of the season. Whilst Inter may not win the Scudetto this season, under a talented manager like Mazzarri and with the development of young talent on the horizon, it may not be long until Inter are once again at the forefront of Italian football.
Despite this philosophy being pushed by Thohir, Spanish press insist that the 43-year-old is looking for Inter to raid La Liga in order to bring big names to the San Siro, including Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. Barcelona's reported interest in current goalkeeper Samir Handanovic could trigger a move for out-of-favour Casillas, whilst Ramos could be a long-term replacement for ageing defenders Hugo Campagnaro, Walter Samuel and Christian Chivu.
image: © batrax