After a very impressive and not yet finished spree in the transfer window Inter Milan have really added quality to their ranks.

At the back-end of last season Inter president gave Claudio Ranieri the boot and made young Andrea Strammacioni the manager. With the charismatic young man at the helm Inter looked much more positive and in their final home game of the season they beat city and eternal rivals AC Milan 4-2.

Inter’s squad had not changed drastically since their historic treble winning season in 2010 but already then most of their players were deemed to be “over the hill.” The defensive partnership of Walter Samuel and Lucio had a combined age of 66 last season – although both players were adored by the fans everyone accepted that it was time for a clear out. The two defenders were both still on contracts from their heyday which meant that they were big earners. Not only was the club getting rid of sub-par players important but also reducing their high wage bill was very necessary.

Other players who were ushered toward the door or into retirement were Diego Forlan, Ivan Cordoba and Paolo Orlandoni. Inter are still in the process of negotiating sales of Julio Cesar and Maicon who are both expected not to be at the club come the end of the transfer window.

After having cleared out a mass of players the plan was always to rebuild. Inter started early in their pursuit for players and signed Samir Handanovic, Palacio, Silvestre, Mudingayi and recently Gargano from Napoli and also Antonio Cassano in a crazy swap plus cash for Pazzini. Inter are still expecting to bring in one more player, Periera, from Porto to replace Maicon. Inter’s approach in the transfer window has been very cut-throat but the directness of it all has resulted in the club having a younger and stronger squad who are on lesser wages than the players who have left. An overall winning formula.

The Nerazzuri will be raring to go this weekend as their opening game is away at newly promoted Pescara. Inter will be looking for a win to get them on their way. Juventus are favourites to retain the Scudetto this season but Paddy Power have priced Inter at 5/1 to win the league which is excellent value for an outside bet. Despite having adding quality to their side, Juventus, have much more pressure and a higher, more demanding workload on their plates. I feel that Inter go into this season, for the first time in a while, with a much lesser level of expectancy upon them.

The shadow of Mourinho is slowly creeping away from the San Siro and that looming weight is lifting. Stramaccioni will be able to stamp his own brand of football on the club as this project is very much a long-term plan rather than a rapid sprint attempting to get back to the stop. Inter want to get there and stay there.

The first big test of the season will come for Inter in the second round of games where they host Roma who have also recently undergone a rather large transformation within the club. Inter look to be the most improved side in Serie A this season and will be looking to build on their disappointing campaign from last year after finishing 6th. This season will go down to the wire, like last, but the main difference it that I think it will be Inter pushing Juventus all the way and maybe even winning their 19th Scudetto.