It’s safe to say that two of Serie A’s historically successful teams aren’t performing to their usual standards. Both finished last season outside of European qualifying places in the standings with Inter coming in eighth and Milan placing tenth.
Even before last season, things weren’t working in Northern Italy. In addition to focusing more on youth, both Milanese teams adopted a similar approach to rebuilding their rosters—sign castoffs from Europe’s elite.
Inter haven’t been in the Champions League since the 2011/2012 season. The only European cameos since then have been a pair of Round of 16 appearances. Under relatively new manager Roberto Mancini, the club has made it a point to restock their roster mainly with players from elite European clubs.
Mancini brought in Juan Miranda from Atletico Madrid while also signing Martin Montoya (who wasn’t receiving much playing time behind Dani Alves) on a two-year loan deal from Barcelona F.C. The duo are joined in defense by former Manchester United legend/center back Nemanja Vidic.
In addition to Miranda and Montoya, Mancini also added defensive-minded talent in the midfield, signing Geoffrey Kondogbia from French giant Monaco.
Inter’s other (recent) marquee addition summer transfer window addition was Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic. Mancini signed the striker on loan from his former employers to replace the outgoing Xherdan Shaqiri (who himself was signed from a major European club—Bayern Munich).
Not to be outdone, Inter have had/currently employ a number of players who once suited up for Europe’s elite.
Defender Alex and attacker Jeremy Menez were both signed from Paris Saint-Germain on free transfers during last season’s summer transfer window. The Rossoneri‘s goalkeeper is also formerly of a major European powerhouse. Diego Lopez was also signed for free, but from Real Madrid.
Milan also employ Alessio Cerci, who is on loan from Atletico. He joined Milan in a loan-swap deal with Atleti in which Fernando Torres (who was signed from Chelsea) went the other way.
Mario Balotelli recently rejoined the Milanese club on loan from Liverpool after Milan sold him to the Premier League club. However, before he was sold to Liverpool, Milan bought him from Manchester City.
Yet another forward/striker on the frontline to play for Milan is Alessandro Matri. Matri was bought from Juventus after failing to establish himself in Turin. So far during his tenure in Milan he’s been loaned out to Fiorentina, Genoa and Juve. He’s made 18 appearances for Milan since signing in 2013.
While not with the team anymore (he’s signed with Panathinaikos) Michael Essien was signed from Chelsea and also suited up for Real Madrid.
Both Milan clubs have yet to return to the peak of European football, where they spent so many years. However, the teams’ brass and fan bases will be hoping that these castoffs from Europe’s elite will propel the Milan teams back to the top of the mountain.