Prior to facing Roma last weekend Inter had the second best defensive record in the league. A stand out performer has always been Campangaro, but it was not evident how much he really carried his team mates until Roma shredder our defense in his absence. Reinforcements are obviously needed if we’re to make the step up, but trying to improve this back line is not as simple as slotting a player in the place of another because that might come back and bite us in the future.
Ranocchia, aka the best piece of business Genoa has ever made, has been labeled as a promising youngster for as long as I can remember. Standing at 196 cm Ranocchia has all the physical tools needed to dominate almost any opponent. But something in his head just doesn’t click, he’s prone to lapses of concentration and his positioning can be questionable at times. After two and a half seasons of inconsistency, the only reason we didn’t sell him is because there’s this chance that, once again, we’d become the laughing stock of Italy with a Cannavaro like deal. Oh and did I mention he’s our only Italian ? Now I’ve always defended Ranocchia saying that until this year he never got to play under a coach who had clear ideas of how this team would defend, and seeing how our former WC defensive pairing of Samuel and Lucio was made to look like a joke the moment Mourinho left then Andrea can at least be excused. The problem with Ranocchia is mental, he needs continuity and confidence and we can’t realistically judge him before we give him just that. Now some might say you either have it or you don’t, but do we really want to pull the trigger on him when he can still realistically be a solid player ? Not that we can recuperate the huge investment we made in him.
But if we’re going to spare Ranocchia for the time being that only leaves Juan Jesus on chopping block. Unlike Ranocchia, Juan’s arrival to Inter was met with lower expectations than his transfer fee. Sure he might have been a solid performer with the Brazilian Internacional but no one expected a relatively unknown 21 year old kid to start 44 games for Inter, let alone be the best defender on the team. Juan might not be a world class player yet but he’s as reliable as a youngster can be, and although he’s prone to the odd mistake, it’s the price we have to pay now before we can reap the full benefits of the supposed youth policy. Granted that Juan is still young we can still get away with benching him every now and then, but how much can this team improve if we replace a solid player with another? The jump of quality has to be big enough to justify the expenses of the acquisition and the possibility of hindering the progress of our most promising youngster, and honestly, it’s not a price we should be willing to pay.
If I had to choose one of Juan and Ranocchia to keep at Inter id go for the Brazilian, but just as i’m sure that Jesus will turn into a world beater one day, im also convinced that Ranocchia will look like a the reincarnation of Nesta the moment he signs with another team.