It was 12 months ago exactly when Inter unveiled Milan Skriniar. The then 22-year-old Slovakia defender was not expected to go straight into the Inter team, but after an impressive pre-season he gave Spalletti no reason not to play him.
A lot of Inter fans thought that Skriniar was the Nerazzurri’s best player last year, and the fact that Jose Mourinho and Manchester United offered to buy Skriniar for triple what Inter paid for him, is a testament to how much his game improved last season.
These are Milan Skriniar’s comments a year ago about joining Inter.
Inter’s latest signing Milan Skriniar is amazed that he is at one of the biggest clubs in Europe just two years ago he was playing for Zilina.
The 22-year-old defender officially signed from Sampdoria on Friday, signing a five-year deal with the Nerazzurri after a reported €18m transfer fee.
“I could never have expected this,” Skirniar said at his presentation Press conference.
“Two years ago I was at Zilina, now I’m at Inter.
“It’s amazing for me. I talked to my agent and we decided to come to Inter, this is a top club with a great history.
“Everyone at Sampdoria told me the same thing: Inter is a great club.
“[Coach Marco] Giampaolo taught me so much about Italian football, he really helped me and I improved thanks to him. I want to thank the boss and Sampdoria.”
Skriniar also confirmed that this season’s objective is to return to the Champions League.
“Inter deserve a stage like that and we hope to reach the top.”
The defender went on to add that he has already being talking to Inter manager Luciano Spalletti.
“I spoke to the coach on the phone a week ago and he said he was happy to be able to work with me. Now we’ll get the chance to know each other better.
“I don’t know if I’ll be a regular starter – that’s up to him to decide. I have to work hard to improve as a player and then we’ll see how it goes.
“My ex-team-mates told me about Inter’s history and tradition. We need to make sure we’re up there challenging at the top again this season.”
At the age of 22, Skriniar still has much time on his side to develop further and, as he acknowledges, it isn’t a certainty that he will go straight into Inter’s starting line-up.
Having joined Sampdoria in January 2016, Skriniar went on to produce some excellent displays for the club and was especially impressive last season as he averaged seven defensive actions per game and retained possession rather well, completing 92% of the passes that he attempted.