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Nemanja Vidic is a good signing for Inter, but his impact may not have the desired effect

Monday 10th March 2014
There has been big change in the city of Milan in the last couple of years, with cost cutting the order of the day for two teams traditionally filled with household names. It's taken its toll on Milan and Inter, with both teams further away from the top than they would like in recent years.

Instead of the big money for big names policy that saw the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrive on both sides of the city, an idea on buy cheap and young then took over with or two exceptions. In January, Milan brought in former Inter striker Mario Balotelli, in the summer Kaka returned. Now, though, its the turn of the Nerazzurri to return to their former ways, with 32-year old Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic signing for the club at the end of his Old Trafford contract in the summer.

When Jose Mourinho was having his photograph alongside President Florentino Perez after signing his contract to take charge of Real Madrid in 2010, he left an Inter side at the pinnacle of football. They were treble winners, the first Italian side to be so and hardly looked like being caught, domestically at least. Former Liverpool and now Napoli boss Rafael Benitez was brought in as Mourinho's replacement, with the success looking like continuing.

There are many worse coaches out there than Benitez. It's rare that a Champions League winning coach is unattached as he was at that time, after leaving Liverpool at the end of the previous season. Inter President Massimo Moratti snapped him up.

But things didn't work out. the Spaniard struggled to stamp his authority on a winning team, the changes he wanted to make weren't sticking and Inter were off the pace. After a successful spell is over and a manager leaves, a transitional phase follows more often than not. Rightly or wrongly Moratti didn't accept that and by December Benitez was gone. His replacement was former Milan boss, the Brazilian, Leonardo.

Though his time at the club was short lived, as he left to take up a job as Technical Director at mega rich Paris-St-Germain, joining then manager Carlo Ancelotti, in 2011.

What followed was nothing short of disastrous for the Nerazzurri, as they fell further away from the promised land. Three managers in two years also told a story of failing to replicate the success of the Mourinho era.

Gianpiero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri and Andrea Stramacchioni all tried and failed in the San Siro hotseat, paving the way for Walter Mazzarri's appointment last summer. To give credit where it is due, the former Napoli coach has improved things markedly since his arrival.

The change in transfer policy was also a factor for the change in fortune. As Inter dropped down Serie A, the big name players moved away one by one it seemed. Whether it was a money saving scheme or simply the fact that better opportunities arose is debatable. Either way, the likes of Eto'o, Sneijder, Maicon and Lucio, key figures in the run to the treble, all departed. The younger and more importantly cheaper group of Saphir Taider, Juan Jesus and Mauro Icardi joined the club among others.

There are some talented players in the squad, notably goalkeeper Samir Handanovcic, almost Juventus-bound midfielder Fredy Guarin and striker Rodrigo Palacio, but the overriding lack of talent in comparison was further evidence that change was needed at the top to reinvigorate their challenge to become a force once again.

When Malaysian businessman Erick Thohir ended Moratti's 18 year tenure as President in October, prayers were answered. Perhaps a return to the days of big signings would be returning?

The January transfer window passed with Inter in good shape. Guarin's move to Turin in part exchange for striker Mirko Vucinic failed to materialise, while Brazilian midfielder Hernanes joined from Lazio.

Though Inter were still missing that marquee name to state the club's intent that is customary under new ownership. Links with Juan Mata prior to his move to Manchester United looked to be the tip of the iceberg.

However, when it was announced that Nemanja Vidic would be coming to Italy there a distinct lack of enthusiasm surrounding the deal. While the Serbian is a fantastic defender, at 32 years old he is hardly at the right age to help Inter return to former glories. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Vidic's form over the past couple of years show that he is no longer at the very top of his game.

Serie A is famed for legendary defenders, so in some ways welcoming Vidic seems only right. However, when statemrnts are made, they are normally younger and play further forward so as to show that a team can be built around them, and it's for that reason that this deal raises more questions than it answers. Although he will undoubtedly play very well for them, Nemanja Vidic is unlikely to bring Inter out of the doldrums.
Harry De Cosemo
19 years old, Newcastle season ticket holder. European football enthusiast and aspiring football writer. Currently doing a Journalism degree at Teesside University. You can follow me on Twitter: @harrydecosemo

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