This week, Internazionale announced the signing of France’s defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia from Monaco. The fee is believed to be in the region of £25m (€35m).
Inter won the race to sign the highly rated Frenchman. It was Roberto Mancini’s side that managed to beat the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and city rivals, AC Milan.
AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani was adamant he’d won his signature:
“Monaco had given us the all-clear for the sale at €40m with payment spread over two years, €20m and €20m. The agreement with Geoffrey had already been sorted and was confirmed by him and his father.
After we exchanged the documentation, everyone disappeared. Evidently they changed their minds or the others offered more.”
This signing makes it even more bittersweet for the Interisti.
So, let’s take a look at the man bought in to boost this Inter side following a poor campaign last season – finishing 8th.
At the age of 20, Kondogbia made a move from French outfit Lens to Sevilla for approximately €3m.
It was in Spain where the Frenchman began to make a name for himself. He quickly settled into the side, demonstrating incredible defensive abilities.
His understanding of the game makes him seem much older than he really is. But it is his fearlessness that makes him such a strong defensive-minded performer.
Many pundits were comparing him to Sergio Busquets when he first broke out in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side. I see him as a cross between Patrick Vieira and Claudio Makelele.
At this stage, a host of top European clubs were eyeing him up, including, Barcelona and PSG. But it was Monaco who put in a concrete offer of approximately €25m.
What can he offer Inter Milan?
Kondogbia provides great protection in front of his defenders, looking to hunt down any attackers threatening to get beyond them. A little further up the pitch, he has a good eye for stepping in and dispossessing any opponents looking to break from midfield.
As well as being strong, Kondogbia is skillful and has fine ball control. He is able to maneuver himself out of danger, and while capable of taking players on, he knows the merit of a simple pass in keeping his team ticking.
He isn’t known for setting up or scoring goals, the young Frenchman scored just the two league goals for Monaco since 2013.
A player of his type was much needed at Inter. The side conceded 48 league goals last campaign, dreadful.
The club is laying down a marker by signing Kondogbia, it’s a real statement of intent – showing they aren’t afraid to open up the check book.
Regardless of this signing, Inter need to make some more major splashes in the transfer market this summer if they’re to get back into the Champions League.
They need to strengthen the defensive department, because the likes of Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus just aren’t good enough.
Between Kondogbia’s potential, a few more signings and having a full season of head coach Roberto Mancini, the club should be much better positioned to compete for the top three in Serie A.
Originally published by O-Posts