Rocchi and Schelotto - why are Inter signing rejects from Lazio and Atalanta?

The move for the Lazio striker and proposed purchase of the Atalanta winger are hardly inspired decisions by a club looking to resurrect some form on the pitch
By Kris Voakes | Italian Football Writer

January transfer windows can be strange things. Some clubs manage to complete the kinds of signings which turn their seasons around and help them to achieve their ultimate goals for the campaign. Others, meanwhile, will often make a string of inadvisable moves that back-fire in spectacular fashion.

So far this month, the transfer policy of Inter has been a puzzling one to say the very least. The Nerazzurri are currently looking to get back on track after a run which has seen them beat only Palermo and Napoli in their eight games since ending Juventus’ 49-game unbeaten run. But their market moves so far have struck of also-rans rather than Champions League contenders.

While Fiorentina have picked up Giuseppe Rossi, Napoli have signed Pablo Armero, and AC Milan look to make big-time changes in their pursuit of improved results, the Beneamata have been shopping in the bargain basement and have opted for a couple of names that really should not be at the top of the list for any club hoping to aim high in the short or long-term.

First, they signed up Tommaso Rocchi, a man who played just 155 minutes in the first half of 2012-13, for no other reason than he was completely out of favour at former club Lazio. With Miroslav Klose taking the role of striking kingpin, Libor Kozak and Sergio Floccari have both been used with greater regularity than Rocchi, while Mauro Zarate and youngster Antonio Rozzi had also found themselves called up ahead of the 35-year-old.

A player considered somewhere between fourth and sixth choice at Lazio should not be at the head of Inter’s shopping list if they have genuine hopes of making the second automatic Champions League spot. Indeed, had they looked more closely at the Biancocelesti’s games this season they would have seen more useful attributes in Floccari’s makeup than in Rocchi’s and would have made a bid for the former Atalanta striker. Four years Rocchi’s junior and infinitely more mobile with a strong aerial presence, he could have been the perfect foil for Diego Milito.

ROCCHI & SCHELOTTO | Credible January moves?

Since January 1, 2011 in Serie A



2012-13 in Serie A




Instead they have plumped for a man who would probably have snapped up any January move regardless of the team showing interest, so rotten was his situation at Formello. Also worth bearing in mind is the fact that Rocchi has played only four full league games in the past two calendar years. He may well have scored 99 Serie A goals, but this is a man who peaked a long time ago. What Andrea Stramaccioni is expected to get out of the ex-Empoli man is anyone’s guess.

Next up, the Nerazzurri appear set to sign Ezequiel Schelotto from Atalanta. While he has shown promise in the past and was highly sought-after following a great showing in Cesena’s promotion to Serie A in 2009-10, his recent record has not been what many expected it to be.

Playing in an Orobici side which suits his style of play down to the ground, he has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth. With the use of wingers key to their approach, Atalanta seemed well set to provide Schelotto with just the kind of football that would see his pacy, direct nature thrive. Instead, he has often been overlooked this term in favour of the likes of Giacomo Bonaventura, Massimo De Luca and even the journeyman Cristian Raimondi.

He may well have appeared far more regularly than Rocchi, with 12 starts under his belt in 2012-13, but does a man who can only secure a shirt 60 per cent of the time at Atalanta really have enough in him to break into the Inter side? The Italy international, whose only cap came in the pre-season friendly against England, will most certainly need to hit a greater run of form than he has managed over the last year if he is to make a significant impact at Appiano Gentile.

Meanwhile, as Inter stare at the possibility of having to nurture two out of touch players back into form, their current run suggests they are still in need of one or two big signings if they are not to miss out on the top three for a second successive season.

President Massimo Moratti claimed this week that this is not the time to spend big money, but this could be exactly the time to do just that, if they are to accumulate enough points to save their faltering league campaign.

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