Antonio Conte sounded the alarm bells on Saturday, and if Tuesday’s match against Brescia is anything to go by, Inter are already seemingly running low on fuel.
The Nerazzurri ultimately brought home three points, which is the most important take away from the trip to the Stadio Mario Rigamonti, but it was anything but easy, especially in the second half.
Brescia dominated the early exchanges after the restart, and their push for an equalizer was only deterred by a brilliant piece of skill by Romelu Lukaku to put Inter ahead by two goals.
It proved to be a temporary respite however, as the Rondinelle continued their surge forward and pinned Inter back for the remainder of the match.
In the end Samir Handanovic only conceded via a Milan Skriniar own-goal, but that shouldn’t mask the fact that Inter desperately need a boost of energy, either from players returning from injury or names that have rarely been used so far this campaign.
Stefano Sensi, Matias Vecino and Danilo D’Ambrosio are all sidelined and their lack of availability has forced the likes of Nicolo Barella, Antonio Candreva and Marcelo Brozovic to play nearly every minute in recent weeks.
Add in that Valentino Lazaro and Borja Valero have so far failed to impress Conte, and one has to wonder how long Inter can continue to churn out the same midfield line-up with important matches against Bologna and Borussia Dortmund on the horizon.
Luckily for Conte, what he can count on is the sparkling form of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez – or LuLa.
The duo both scored against Brescia, making it the first time Inter have two players with five or more goals after 10 Serie A matches since 2012/13 when Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano pulled off the feat.
However, just like in midfield, the question of how long this can go on for is a legitimate one, as the duo are being asked to start in the Nerazzurri’s Champions League campaign as well.
With Alexis Sanchez sidelined until the new year and Matteo Politano viewed as a better option off the bench than starting, Conte appears to have turned to 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito as the man – or boy – to give Lu or La a rest towards the end of games.
That’s a lot to ask for a player that won’t turn 18 until next July, and one that only reinforces Conte’s plea for reinforcements in the January window.
However with the winter window still two months away, it will be up the tactician to conjure up some sort of solution for Inter’s current conundrum – or else they run the risk of spoiling their impressive start to the campaign.