Inter Confirm Alexis Sánchez Has Undergone Surgery on Dislocated Ankle

?Inter have confirmed that Alexis Sánchez has undergone surgery on his ankle to address the injury which he picked up on international duty.

The winger suffered tendon damage in his ankle whilst away with Chile, and he was sent to Barcelona on Wednesday to meet with a surgeon to assess the severity of the injury.

Lega Calcio Serie A TIM"FC Internazionale v SS Lazio"

As noted by the club’s ?official website, ?Sánchez met with specialist Dr Ramon Cugat, who recommended that surgery was the way forward. He has now had the operation, which ?Inter say was a success.

There is no mention of how long Sánchez will be on the sidelines for, but Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda suggested that ?it could be up to three months before the winger is able to return to action.

Should Rueda be correct and Sánchez does indeed need three months on the sidelines, the winger will miss the remainder of Inter’s ?Champions League group stage fixtures, including meetings with both ?Borussia Dortmund and ?Barcelona.

Fortunately for Inter, the ?Serie A fixture list looks rather kind to them over the next few months. I Nerrazzuri will come face to face with the likes of Torino and Hellas Verona in the coming weeks, but their next top-of-the-table clash comes against Roma on 6th December.

After that, Antonio Conte’s side face meetings with Fiorentina, ?Napoli and Atalanta over a period of five weeks, so they will certainly be eager to welcome Sánchez back to action as soon as possible.

Inter currently find themselves second in Serie A, just one point behind league leaders ?Juventus. It has been a fantastic start to the campaign for Conte’s men, and they will hope that Sánchez’s injury does not bring their momentum to a halt.

Antonio Conte

Conte’s preference of playing two strikers means both ?Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez will likely play plenty of minutes over the coming months, whilst 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito also stands to feature in some capacity.


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The Top Scorers in Euro 2020 Qualifying After October Fixtures

?As the Euro 2020 qualifying stage reaches its climax, each group is beginning to level out, leaving Europe’s heavyweights to battle it out at the top of their mini-leagues. 

The same can be said for the list of top scorers in the competition, with the usual suspects jostling for pole position in this year’s pre-tournament campaign. 

That is, except for a pair of jokers in the pack. 

Jadon Sancho,Harry Kane,Raheem Sterling

The likes of Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo and 2016 qualifying champion Robert Lewandowski are being forced to kneel to a surprise one-two at the top of the charts this time round. 

Let’s take a look at the top scorers of the Euro 2020 campaign thus far. 


8. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium (6 Goals) 

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?Romelu Lukaku loves playing for Belgium. In fairness, the ex-Manchester United man is blessed with some of the world’s best players supplying his goalscoring opportunities, and the ?Inter striker seems to find another level when he pulls on the Red Devils’ shirt. 

UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier group I"Belgium v San Marino"

Lukaku is sitting on six goals during this qualifying campaign, and with his country’s 100% record still intact, Belgian supporters can look forward to another exciting tournament in 2020. 


-. Claudiu Ke?erü – Romania (6 Goals)

Despite being handed an extremely tough group, Romania are holding their own in their bid for European qualification, and Ke?erü’s ruthlessness in front of goal is certainly a big factor in their success. 

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The Romanian star has scored six goals for his country during their eight qualifying matches, and his side sit in third place in Group F, only one point behind rivals Sweden. 

Confidence is high ahead of the crunch match between the two sides in November.


-. Memphis Depay – Netherlands (6 Goals) 

Another ?ex-Man Utd player makes the top ten. Memphis Depay has breathed life back into his stuttering career after a miserable spell at Old Trafford, and the Lyon striker has bagged six goals for the Netherlands in the qualifying campaign so far. 

Memphis Depay

The Dutch national team were unfortunate to draw Germany in Group C, but Ronald Koeman’s men are joint top with Joachim Low’s side and look set to make a long-awaited return to elite football. 


-. Marko Arnautovic – Austria (6 Goals) 

?Stoke City and ?West Ham fan-favourite Marko Arnautovic is the eighth highest scorer in this qualifying campaign, bagging six goals for second-place Austria. Now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League, ?Arnautovic is still keeping himself very sharp for international duty. 

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Let’s hope he completes his childhood dream of winning the CSL before guiding Austria to European glory. 


5. Teemu Pukki – Finland (7 Goals)

Teemu Pukki’s dramatic rise from Celtic flop to eventual Ballon d’Or winner just won’t slow down. Pukki’s seven goals have propelled Finland to second in their group behind winners Italy, and qualification looks a certainty for Pukki’s posse.   ?

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?Norwich’s star striker hit the ground running on his Premier League debut, and he looks set to be a key figure for his nation next summer at Euro 2020. 


-. Aleksandar Mitrovic – Serbia (7 Goals) 

Mitro’s on fire, all of Europe’s terrified! It beggars belief that Aleksandar MItrovic is slugging it out in the Championship, when he could walk into a considerable chunk of Premier League teams tomorrow. 

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The Serbian hitman has seven goals this campaign and, as always, is a key component of his nation’s success. Serbia sit third in a tough group including Ukraine and Portugal, but they’ll be confident they can still reach Euro 2020. 


-. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal (7 Goals) 

It was only a matter of time before this guy’s name appeared on the list – if anything, its arrival is surprisingly premature. ??Cristiano Ronaldo secured his seventh goal of this qualifying campaign against Ukraine on Monday evening, and in doing so claimed his 700th career goal. 700. Seven hundred. 

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Portugal’s place in Euro 2020 is not yet guaranteed, but with one of the greatest footballers of all time in their midst, it’s hard to see the Euro 2016 champions missing out. 


3. Raheem Sterling – England (8 Goals) 

England’s golden boy ?deservedly finds himself high up on the list of Euro 2020 qualifying top scorers. ?Raheem Sterling has been electric for club and country over recent months, and his eight goals have helped England to the brink of qualification for next summer. 

Raheem Sterling,Harry Kane

Sterling is becoming a leader on and off the pitch for the Three Lions, and after a long dry-spell in front of goal, the ?Manchester City star has finally unearthed his killer instinct. 


-. Harry Kane – England (8 Goals) 

?Harry Kane has hit a rough patch in recent weeks, but that hasn’t stopped the England captain from securing a podium place in qualifying – for now. Kane has bagged eight times for his country in six matches – albeit four of his strikes have come from the penalty spot. 

Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate will be desperate for Kane to recapture his form of old ahead of Euro 2020, and the ?Tottenham striker will hope to add another golden boot to his World Cup 2018 success. 


2. Artem Dzyuba – Russia (9 Goals) 

Coming in at number two in the list is Russian forward Artem Dzyuba! His nine goals have helped Russia to seven wins from eight during their qualifying campaign, and the World Cup 2018 hosts have already booked their place at next summer’s big tournament. 

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Dzyuba holds the record of a flat-track bully in Group I, as although he sits second in the scoring charts, seven of his nine goals have come against San Marino and Scotland, which is hardly fair on Europe’s other top-scorer hopefuls. 

But as the old adage goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you and Dzyuba and Russia have done just that. 


?1. Eran Zahavi – Israel (11 Goals) 

Write this name down somewhere, because in a couple of years time it’ll come in handy during the football section of your local pub quiz. Eran Zahavi has been on absolute fire for his country this campaign and has notched 11 goals despite his side’s poor position in the group. 

Eran Zahavi

Zahavi has been a shining light during a dismal campaign for Israel, who currently sit fifth in Group G and are set to miss out on Euro 2020 next summer. The Guangzhou R&F forward has bagged two hat-tricks during qualification and has consistently found the net over the course of their fixtures. 

If anyone deserves a place at Euro 2020, it’s Zahavi. 

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Inter Desperate to Increase Lautaro Martínez’s Release Clause Amid Barcelona & Man City Interest

?Inter are eager to tie down striker Lautaro Martínez to a new contract as soon as possible to try and fend off interest from both Barcelona and Manchester City.

The 22-year-old has long been identified as a star of the future, and he has been vital to I Nerrazzuri’s fantastic start to the campaign.

Lautaro Martinez,Frenkie De Jong

According to ?Tuttosport, Martínez’s performances have caught the eye of ?Barcelona, who are ‘not joking’ when they say they are targeting a deal to sign the young Argentine at the end of the season.

?Lionel Messi is said to be a huge fan of his fellow countryman, and Martínez is thought to be on Barcelona’s seven-man shortlist to replace ?Luis Suárez, so a summer move is certainly not out of the question.

As a result, Inter are eager to offer Martínez a new contract. His current release clause sits at €111m, but ?Inter want to raise that or even get rid of it altogether, in the hope of scaring Barcelona away.

However, ?Calciomercato claim that Inter may also have to deal with ?City, who are looking for the heir to ?Sergio Agüero’s throne at the Etihad Stadium. Now 31, Agüero is approaching the final years of his career with City, and Pep Guardiola is said to see Martínez as a potential replacement for his prolific forward.

As it stands, both Barcelona and City could realistically activate Martínez’s €111m release clause, so raising or removing it would give Inter some more leverage in negotiations.

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Inter are ready to do whatever it takes to keep the 22-year-old. He may have netted just 12 goals in 44 appearances for Inter, but his all-round game has impressed scouts from across Europe.

Seen by Conte as one of those players who makes the rest of the team better, Martínez has bagged three goals this season, including one against Barcelona in the ?Champions League before the international break.


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Crystal Palace Linked With Shock Move for €30m Inter Ace as Search for Striker Continues

Premier League high-flyers Crystal Palace are eying a shock move for Internazionale’s €30m rated striker Gabriel Barbosa as the Eagles scour the Italian market for reinforcements in January.

Roy Hodgson’s Palace currently sit sixth in the table with 14 points, the same amount as fourth placed ?Leicester City

However, the 72-year-old manager is keen to bolster his attack with Christian Benteke misfiring, while the future of talisman Wilfried Zaha remains in doubt after a failed summer transfer to fellow Premier League side ?Arsenal.

Wilfried Zaha

According to Gazzetta dello Sport as relayed by ?Calcio Mercato, the former Inter boss is eager to add reinforcements in January to continue his side’s strong start to the 2019/20 campaign, with top goalscorer Jordan Ayew finding the net three times thus far.

Gabigol is currently on loan at Brazilian Série A side Flamengo from Inter and is in scintillating form, finding the net 23 times and providing five assists in 28 appearances.

His stellar performances have seen him reintegrated into the Brazil national team, the striker coming on as a substitute in Brazil’s recent draw against Nigeria. 

I Nerazzurri are believed to be demanding a fee in the region of €30m for the 23-year-old, although this would not deter Palace from making a bid for the former Santos man, despite his underwhelming European cameos with Inter and Benfica.

Gabigol is still undecided on his next move and a meeting has been scheduled to take place between his entourage and representatives from Inter to outline the young striker’s next move. La Beneamata boss Antonio Conte could recall Gabigol to his January training camp before making a final decision on his future.

Gabriel Barbosa

As reported by Corriere dello Sport – relayed by ?Teamtalk, Inter and Flamengo have an agreement in principle for the purchase of Gabigol in the region of €15m, with the Italian side also implementing a 20% sell on clause. 

Whilst Gabigol remains an option for Crystal Palace, other strikers are being scouted by the London club. Francesco Caputo is another option who is currently plying his trade at Italian Serie A outfit Sassuolo, scoring three goals in five appearances so far this campaign. 

Crystal Palace host champions ?Manchester City at Selhurst Park on 19 November before heading to the Emirates Stadium to take on third placed ?Arsenal eight days later.

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Roberto Mancini’s New-Look Italy are Ready to Win Euro 2020

?In November 2017, Gian Piero Ventura’s Italy hosted Sweden in the second leg of their World Cup playoff with a 1-0 deficit to make up.

‘They’ll be fine, it’s the Italians, you can’t have a World Cup without Italy!’ 

Well, it’s true, Italy have been apart of every World Cup finals since 1962 – winning four of them since 1930 – it’d be just plain wrong to not have them competing in a World Cup.

However, in Milan that night – just over 11 years on from one of Gli Azzurri’s finest hours in Berlin – Italy reached one of the lowest points in their footballing history. 

FBL-WC-2018-ITA-SWE

Italy failed to create anything of any substance against a resolute Swedish defence, slumping to a 0-0 draw and more significantly, failing to reach the World Cup finals for only the second time ever. 

Inevitably, Ventura was sacked after 16 months in charge, and in his place Italy needed a manager who could reinvigorate a broken side and restore them as one of Europe’s powerhouses once again.

The man they went for was Roberto Mancini – who was appointed in May 2018 –  and since then, the Italian renaissance has well and truly been underway.

Roberto Mancini

Since Mancini’s arrival, Gli Azzurri have lost just twice in 16 games and have maintained their 100% record in Euro 2020 qualifying through seven games. 

In last year’s Nations League, we saw some very typical Italian performances, with Mancini’s men conceding just two goals in four games. During qualification however, we’ve seen the Italians at their free-flowing best, playing some of their best football they’ve played in years.

Although it’s by no means miraculous, the job Mancini’s done with an Italian side void of any identity just two years ago has been superb and there’s no doubt he’s turned them into contenders for next year’s Euros. 

So how’s he done it? 

And why are the Italians suddenly contenders? 


Well, first of all, their defence is outstanding and has been…for seemingly, well, ever. 

With Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini at the back – arguably the best centre-back pairing of the 21st century – Italy will have a chance in most games they play, we saw what happened at Euro 2016, where Italy reached the quarter-finals with Graziano Pelle and Eder leading the line. At Euro 2020, Chiellini and Bonucci will have a much stronger supporting cast ahead of them.

Let’s not forget that these two are the closest pair you’ll see to ‘born winners’, by the way.

Right, so let’s talk about that supporting cast.

Mancini has generally used a dynamic 4-3-3 with his Italian side and we’ve seen the emergence of Inter duo Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella under the ex-Man City boss. Sensi, in particular, will be pivotal for Italy over the next decade. At just 5’5, he possesses the dribbling ability of an elite winger and the passing ability of a deep-lying playmaker – he’s quickly developed into one of the finest midfielders in Europe.


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With Sensi teaming-up with PSG’s Marco Verratti and Chelsea’s Jorginho, you have a midfield that has a great balance of tenacity, technique and attacking threat. 

Barella, for now, maybe on the outside looking in, but we’ve already seen Mancini trust the 22-year-old many times since his appointment and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him part of Italy’s starting midfield three next summer.

While the defence is solid and the midfield is dynamic, the main issue for the national team in recent years has been their front-line, and it was an issue in the first few months of Mancini’s tenure.

In 2018, Mancini would often field three wingers as the trio up top – deploying Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne as the ‘false nine’. He was influenced by Maurizio Sarri and his use of winger Dries Mertens as a withdrawn forward in his fluent Napoli sides between 2015-18.

However, the Insigne experiment didn’t work and Italy still struggled to score goals. The solution: trust one of your number nines.

Andrea Belotti,Ciro Immobile

Despite being so prolific for Lazio in Serie A, Ciro Immobile has often disappointed when he’s put on the Italy shirt – scoring just eight times in 38 appearances.

Immobile has by no means set Group J alight with loads of goals – he only has one – but he’s proved that he’s more than a mere target-man. 

He often rotates the role with Andrea Belotti, also a prolific Serie A goalscorer, and whilst both have proven to fit tactically, there’s still a feeling that both should be scoring more for the national team.

Nevertheless, gone are the days of Manolo Gabbiadini leading the Italian line, Gli Azzurri now have three world-class performers in their front-line – a trio that will cause most international defences problems.

Federico Chiesa,Lorenzo Insigne

Pairing Insigne on the wing is Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa,  who has been a prominent figure in Italy’s qualifying campaign. 

Chiesa, 21, shone for Italy at the Under-21 Euros in the summer and, like Kai Havertz is destined for a future move to Bayern, Chiesa is seemingly set for a big-money move to Italy’s footballing giant, Juve.

Although not necessarily a goalscorer – scoring just six times last season – Chiesa has proven himself as a creator, a playmaker almost from out wide. Blessed with tremendous speed, he’s capable of running in behind or beating a player 1v1, however, Chiesa’s vision and ability on the ball mean he can also come short or central to try and create.

Let’s not forget that the mightily talented Federico Bernardeschi is also waiting in the rafters, highlighting the depth that this Italian side now has.

Italy v Greece - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Italy’s breeze through qualification under Roberto Mancini has shown they’re way beyond the side that was humiliated on that night in Milan back in 2017. 

The emergence of young talent has boosted a demoralised national side, adding dynamism and excitement to what has typically been a dull and ultimately unsuccessful Italy team over the past decade.

With two elite centre-backs still going, supported by the best supporting cast they’ve, arguably, ever had and a manager that has helped find a new identity within Gli Azzurri – don’t be surprised if Italy go all the way in 2020.


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