Marotta the king of the transfer window

by | Sep 7, 2021 11:51

Inter faced a tough transfer window this summer, but the Nerazzurri director Beppe Marotta managed to keep the team competitive despite Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi’s sales, writes Richard Hall.

Ever since the Scudetto had been won, it felt like the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hung over Inter and nobody could enjoy the trappings of success. It seemed the Nerazzurri were rich and powerful but as is often with the Milanese, they could no longer enjoy it.

Financial uncertainty saw the coach depart with key members of the team, before long the hashtag #Suningout was trending on social media where only months before they had been exalted. In these turbulent times, one man has embraced the situation even if displeased. Beppe Marotta has not been swayed and instead has conducted his business in such a manner, that Inter may enjoy success with little consequence.

The Roman philosopher, Cicero, once took great pains to make a book from 45 B.C. called, ‘Tuscan Disputations’, as popular as he could because he believed that the ancient moral parable was imperative for everyone to understand. Inter will understand this now more than ever, as they in their own way have experienced a summer worthy of the annuls of history, even if tongue in cheek.

Inter more than meet transfer targets

In the book, the tyrannical King, Dionysius II (We will call him Beppe Marotta) runs Syracuse in Sicily (Inter) with an iron fist but with intelligence. With all the wealth and power Inter had in the summer, he is happy but also deeply worried as with such expectation and wealth comes much burden.

Dionysius (Marotta) bemoans this but one of his courtiers, Damocles (Antonio Conte), keeps saying that with all the money and power he has, they should be happy he would like the chance. So, an afterthought, he would be if given the right privileges. “Since this life delights you, do you wish to taste it and make a trial of my good fortune?”

Damocles (Conte) agrees and Dionysius (Marotta) furnishes him with everything he needs. One condition. A sword, held by horsehair will be hung above his head, back and forth, back and forth; it could drop at any time. At first, Damocles enjoys all the wealth and success as he sits in his golden chair. The sword continues to swing and in the end, he cannot handle the pressure and asks to leave. Dionysius says to him “There can be no happiness for one who is under constant apprehensions” and he resumes his seat.

The moral of this story is that Inter’s summer was always going to be fraught with danger. All success is. Perhaps Conte will move from golden chair to golden chair but will not stay long, as he is aware of the danger. Marotta however, is willing to sit in the chair and under pressure: he has done a superb job.

When Antonio Conte left, there was sadness and frustration but also some understanding, as he did not want to work next season under such pressure. When Achraf Hakimi left, it was accepted as Marotta had said Inter needed to clear €80m net and 15% of the wage bill (approximately). When Romelu Lukaku left there was an outcry as surely the sale of Hakimi was done so, perhaps, the club could keep him.

Whilst the club had until 2022 to pay the bridging loan Suning had to take, the interest rates were so high that the sale of Lukaku helped ease this pain. The striker also pushed to return to London, which made it even more difficult for Inter to turn down a €115m offer.

Lukaku admits he pushed to join Chelsea from Inter

It looked like Inter had an impossible job in the market but Marotta set to work, in came Hakan Calhanoglu (on a free from Milan), Alex Cordaz (from Crotone), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven) and Joaquin Correa (Lazio). Two new forwards and a wing back replacing the missing whilst Calhanoglu potentially replacing Eriksen who, as of today, cannot play in Serie A due to his condition.

Daniele Padelli (Udinese), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Hakimi (PSG), Lukaku (Chelsea), Andrea  Pinamonti ( Empoli), Valentino Lazaro (Benfica), Joao Mario (out of contract), Lucien Agoume (Brest) and Edoardo Vergani (Salernitana) all left the club and all in all the window was deemed as a success out of a bad situation. Even so, the pressure must have been felt, as the new coach (another impressive acquisition) took his team to the field on opening day. A 4-0 win over Genoa and a 3-1 win over Hellas saw Dzeko and Correa get on the score sheet and Inter played in a slightly tweaked and yet exciting way. Bigger games will be the test but so far so good.

Nobody can blame Conte for not wanting to sit on his golden chair at Inter. For him, however, in the end it was not golden anymore but more of a copper bench and the sword had got bigger. He moved on to find a new throne but the moral of the story is the same. Success always brings more pressure and when Suning’s finances went into disarray, repeating these feats became even harder.

That is why, no matter what happens to Inter this campaign, Beppe Marotta must be applauded for his application and resilience under extreme pressure, he has stayed to sit down and ignore the sword.





    They did as good as they probably could, and in the end, better than many Serie A teams. 115m for a 28yo Lukaku was a good price, but Hakimi leaving was an even bigger blow, given his relatively low price (from an oil club) and his age.
    Dzeko and Correa are unlikely to match Lukaku, but they might do okay.
    Dumphries will need to work out, because Darmian isn’t the answer.
    Getting Inzaghi was the real coup, he someone who did well with no money at Lazio. The players should respond to him, and Inter have a chance to regain their title – mainly because the opposition are pretty average.
    It’ll be a surprise is they don’t make the top 4

  2. Interista Irlandese

    Marotta is the most important man at the club! No question. Get him the new contract now!

  3. Geedup

    Losing Lukaku was seen as a disaster at the time but it makes sense considering the fee and his age, although I would expect that, just like with Hakimi’s transfer, there are some add-ons to the 115m, which would mean the fees could still rise. What’s important was they were able to obtain reinforcements, although Dzeko can’t really be considered in the long-term. I wouldn’t read much into the first two fixtures. Inter usually start well but then fall apart in the winter. It’s whether Inzaghi can overcome that block that will determine how well Inter will finish the season. There was worry when Conte was replaced by Allegri at Juve but looked how good that turned out.

  4. Joe Schmoe

    While this article could have used some editing for clarification, the idea behind the article was well thought out.

    The “Pazza” nature of the team was always a reflection of the upper management. Moratti was a sugar daddy owner who is a good enough man, but perhaps not a “football man” who has ideas about talent, relative finances and how those things need to keep a balance. There was always at least one emotional purchase per season. And the books were always chaos made flesh.

    Moratta is a “football man” and understands that there is a fine line between great and good, but a whole lot of money – and that consistency is a rare and valuable gem. Moratta is the “football man” that Inter needed after the Treble to keep the ship above the water line.

    The front office stability and unwillingness to panic have done a great job this summer. Everyone talks about Dzeko not scoring as much as Lukaku or filling in for the long term. All that is nonsense. Dzeko needs to put together 15 goals, either directly or by assist or through a combo of both for THIS season. Who knows what happens next season… Dzeko is needed THIS season. Inter has talent in the forward position that is in the wings, or next season will allow more time to search for a real answer for Lukaku lost goals. Dzeko is the answer to Lukaku leaving a hole in the forward line this season.

    The front office dictates the direction of the team. If the Inter Chinese management is serious about this club, then they need to make sure that Moratta and Ausilio are given anything they need to stay at this club and bring in players that they believe in. If they stay with the team, then I am not worried about the front office.

  5. DARi0

    Inter fans will be forever thanking Agnelli for letting Marotta join Inter. Once in a lifetime chance that made all the difference. This man can constantly generate hundreds of millions in revenue while building a winning squad. Don Beppe is Inter`s #1 asset.

  6. Tlotfy

    INTER’s Squad looks like a Gem in the making. Marotta is Inter‘s most important asset during this period, and management being more important than players is only sustainable model in today’s world of football.

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