Having lost Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi last summer, there were justifiable fears among the Inter fanbase that the 2021/22 campaign might be one to forget.
While the Nerazzurri didn’t hit the heights of last season, they still looked like the favourites to win the title until a late slip-up saw AC Milan wrestle control of the crown. It’s a result that hurts but one which Inter must not dwell on.
Here’s a look back at Inter’s 2021/22 campaign.
In 2019, Antonio Conte offloaded Ivan Perisic to Bayern Munich on loan over fears he wouldn’t make a good wing-back. In 2022, he’s eaten humble pie and brought the Croatian to Tottenham because of just how good he was in that role last year.
Dominant in attack and surprisingly efficient in defence, Perisic didn’t look like a player who had just turned 33. He boasted boundless energy and strength – two attributes he may have improved during his time as part of the Bayern machine.
Just why Inter didn’t try and sign him to a new contract earlier than they did will forever remain a mystery.
Honourable mentions: Lautaro Martinez, Milan Skriniar, Marcelo Brozovic
Lautaro Martinez vs Liverpool
Lautaro Martinez enjoyed his best season in front of goal this year, with his strike against Liverpool the pick of the bunch.
Having fallen 2-0 in the first leg of their last 16 clash, Inter needed a big showing from Martinez in the second instalment, and while the Serie A side ultimately came up short, their superstar striker did his bit.
Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, Martinez punished Virgil van Dijk for not closing him down fast enough as he unleashed a ferocious pot shot which fizzed into Alisson’s top corner.
Honourable mentions: Andrea Ranocchia vs Napoli, Marcelo Brozovic vs Spezia
Empoli 0-2 Inter
On paper, a 2-0 win over Empoli is nothing special, but the reality is that Inter looked like a completely different animal in this game.
Simeone Inzaghi’s men peppered Empoli’s goal with shot after shot after shot, pressed their hosts into oblivion and spent nearly the entire game in the final third.
It was a dominant, all-round performance that the stats suggest should have yielded six or seven goals for Inter, and nobody would have argued against such a scoreline.
Honourable mentions: Inter 3-2 Napoli, Inter 6-1 Bologna, Inter 2-1 Juventus
A free transfer from direct rivals AC Milan, Hakan Calhanoglu was a creative wizard in Inter’s midfield.
Midway through the season, Calhanoglu was putting on regular clinics, racking up assists and chipping in with his fair share of goals as well. He finished second in the Serie A assist charts this year, tied with teammate Nicolo Barella.
To get that sort of impact without paying a transfer fee is sublime business.
Honourable mentions: Denzel Dumfries, Edin Dzeko
Inter probably need three of four copies of this trophy to hand out as there are plenty of players in the squad who are more than deserving of this honour.
In the end, we’ve gone for Skriniar, who made that next jump up to superstar-level this season. He figured out how to operate in a back three and never looked back, leading by example on the pitch and undoubtedly throwing his name into the hat for Inter’s next captain.
There still looks to be room in the tank for more growth, which is a scary prospect.
Honourable mentions: Ivan Perisic, Lautaro Martinez, Marcelo Brozovic, Federico Dimarco
Resisting the urge to pile on Ionut Radu for his costly error against Bologna, we’ve instead gone for new signing Joaquin Correa, whose stay at San Siro has only been made permanent because Inter were legally obliged to sign him.
Inter committed to pay the best part of £30m this summer to make Correa’s loan move from Lazio permanent, which is nothing to sneeze at for a club with Inter’s financial battles behind the season. It’s safe to say the Nerazzurri expected more than six goals from his 36 appearances.
Injuries and a lack of form were constantly frustrating for Correa, who didn’t make the jump most expected from him.
Dishonourable mentions: Arturo Vidal, Felipe Caicedo