Giampaolo Pazzini is the key to Inter Milan’s resurgence
The striker has emerged from the background at Inter to score twice in a week under Claudio Ranieri
Giampaolo Pazzini holds the key to the success of Internazionale’s season as the striker begins to blossom under the guidance of new manager Claudio Ranieri.
Former Inter boss Gian Piero Gasperini started Pazzini just once in his fateful five-game reign and despite experimenting with a vast array of formations, the manager could not find room for Pazzini in his starting line-up, preferring to partner Diego Milito with his marquee summer signing Diego Forlan.
Claudio Ranieri’s appointment as Gasperini’s replacement has coincided with the Pazzini’s return to the Inter first-team and his impact has been instant, scoring against Bologna and CSKA Moscow.
And the 27-year-old is an asset which I Nerazzuri must rely on following the exit of Samuel Eto’o to Anzhi Makhachkala and while Milito struggles to recreate his eye-catching form of 2009-10.
However, the conundrum for Ranieri is finding a way to combine the qualities of both Forlan and Pazzini.
Gasperini’s failure to include Pazzini is a decision he has been left to rue after the striker’s fruitful return to first team action this week – and the forward is keen to move on from his former manager’s disastrous tenure.
“He made his choices. That is all. In any case, it is always a shame when there is a change of management,” said Pazzini after Inter’s 3-2 victory against CSKA on Wednesday. “Now we have a new Coach and will think of returning to winning ways with him.”
The Italy international, bought by former Inter boss Leonardo in January for a modest £10m fee, scored 11 goals following his move to Milan as the striker utilised his unique style to great effect.
Although he may lack the pace of Eto’o or the guile of Milito, Pazzini boasts the same traits as the traditional England centre forward. He is strong in the air, has a powerful shot and his muscular frame makes him difficult to halt in the area.
The former Atalanta youth product has been building a reputation as one of Italy’s best strikers since emerging in 2003 after he began to blossom at Sampdoria by forging a fruitful partnership with Antonio Cassano.
He hit an impressive 46 goals in 80 appearances for I Blucerchiati and his impressive strike-rate manufactured his big move to Inter.