Mauro Icardi and Gabriel Barbosa have been in splendid form for their respective clubs. One is helping his side come close to silverware, while the other has already done that in sensational fashion. And there is every reason for Inter to look at it and be jealous about it.
Gabigol was in immense form for Flamengo in the Brazilian league and in the Copa Libertadores this past season. The former Benfica man was leading the line on a consistent basis. He had a key role in helping Fla win the Copa Libertadores, scoring two stoppage-time goals in the final to beat River Plate.
And Gabigol played 41 times in all competitions. He had a tally of 34 goals and a total of 11 assists. In the Brazilian Serie A, he had only 29 appearances to his name. But he had a hand in 25 goals and nine assists – a spectacular number.
As for Icardi, he has become a crucial part of the Paris Saint-Germain side under Thomas Tuchel. So much so that Edinson Cavani is already on the fringes with just 456 minutes under his belt.
The Argentine has come up with 14 goals in all competitions, racking up three assists while playing only 18 games. In the Champions League, he has already scored five times in just six appearances. Those are no small numbers.
But Inter aren’t the richest clubs in the world. As things stand, they do have some attacking options in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 shape. The club had let go of Icardi with the idea that Romelu Lukaku would do enough to replace him. But it has been much better than expected.
Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have scored a total of 22 goals together. And that is in the Serie A only. Sebastiano Esposito recently made his debut, scoring a penalty against Genoa. It was a very good rest for Lautaro, who has been a consistent goalscorer for Conte’s men.
Alexis Sanchez has been suffering from an ankle injury from early on in the season. Matteo Politano came back from an injury recently but has been used sparsely. The former Sassuolo man has made only two starts. And his last start came back in August against Udinese.
It shows that the depth is very much there. If not for injuries, the depth would have come to the fore. And it seems fair as to why Icardi was let go of in the summer. The Nerazzurri were very clear about it since their pursuit of Lukaku began.
While Icardi’s future is clearly away from Inter, there is a chance for the opposite in Gabigol’s case. His ties with Inter aren’t as cut as Icardi’s. But having said that, Inter do lack depth in some positions of the pitch.
The Nerazzurri could get about a lot of money with their potential sales, however, and they would have enough to reinvest in getting depth in midfield. Both Icardi and Gabigol are at the peak of their powers and that would benefit Inter a lot in getting the most out of their sale.