Inter Milan have already been busy in the transfer market this summer and, with further signings to come, it’s likely to boost Andrea Ranocchia’s chances of playing at Euro 2016 for Italy.
Ranocchia already knows how it feels to miss a major tournament. He was named in Italy’s provisional squads for both the 2012 European Championship and the 2014 World Cup, but was then left out on each occasion by former coach Cesare Prandelli.
Under current Azzurri coach Antonio Conte, the 27-year-old has been a regular member of the squad and he started the European Qualifiers against Norway, Azerbaijan and Croatia last year.
But he was left on the bench against Bulgaria and only featured as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw away with Croatia in 2015. He did start the friendlies against England and Portugal, and that shows he is clearly in Conte’s plans.
With Italy a bigger price than England in the international football betting for Euro 2016, Ranocchia can help to show the Azzurri are not outsiders in France next summer.
But, for Ranocchia to be more than just a squad member for Italy, he needs to have an excellent season with Inter and, likewise, Inter also need to have an excellent season.
After finishing eighth in Serie A last season, Inter owner Erick Thohir has been quick to spend money on new signings. Inter beat city rivals AC Milan to the signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia from Monaco. Getting the midfielder was a brilliant piece of business given Kondogbia was also linked with other clubs who would have been able to offer Champions League football. It just goes to show the pull of Inter.
Jeison Murillo has joined from Granada and Joao Miranda is also expected to complete a move from Atletico Madrid to further strengthen Inter’s defence. More signings are anticipated, with the likes of Barcelona defender Martin Montoya, Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula and Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah linked with moves.
Added to Mateo Kovacic and Mauro Icardi signing new contracts, then there is plenty of promise for the future next season for Inter.
From Ranocchia’s point of view, the key additions will be the defenders who join and playing alongside either Miranda or Murillo will certainly make Inter more solid.
Last season’s primary partnership with Juan Jesus didn’t give Inter a firm base, while neither Hugo Campagnaro nor Nemanja Vidic made the impact expected of them.
As captain, Ranocchia’s place isn’t going to be under threat by the new arrivals, but playing alongside Miranda should only boost his Italy prospects.
There is serious competition for a place in the centre of the Italy defence and Ranocchia knows he can’t afford to put a foot wrong if he wants to be in Conte’s starting line-up when Euro 2016.
Champions League qualification, or even a Serie A title challenge, for Inter next season will give Ranocchia a better chance of getting into the Italy team. Given the signings Inter have made so far, they should at least finish above eighth and that can only mean good news for the club and Ranocchia.