thumbnail Hello,

Goal nominates the top three stand-out performers for the Italian giants in 2013-14. Vote for your winner in our poll

Following a 2012-13 campaign that saw Inter record only a ninth-place finish in Serie A, this was always going to be a season in which any sign of progress would be welcomed.

In that context, the Nerazzurri's four-place rise in the rankings represents a huge positive for Walter Mazzarri in his first term as coach after leaving Napoli to replace Andrea Stramaccioni at the helm.

And it has been thanks to a number of key players that the Milanese outfit have been able to give a much more consistent account of their talents than was the case 12 months prior.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal's three nominees for Inter's player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. Cast your vote in the poll at the bottom of the article.

JONATHAN


Few people attending San Siro for some of Jonathan's early performances in an Inter shirt would have believed that he would eventually establish himself as a first-team regular, but that is exactly what the Brazilian did in 2013-14.

From a player visibly struggling for confidence under Andrea Stramaccioni, the 28-year-old has become one of the most reliable performers in Mazzarri's outfit, making 31 appearances for Inter this term as a result of a massively improved run of form.

As well as goals against Bologna, Verona and Fiorentina, Jonathan has consistently offered excellent energy and endeavour down the right-hand side, after being given the confidence of a regular berth by Mazzarri.

The ex-Cruzeiro, Santos and Parma man has also added four assists, with the licence to roam down the flank helping him to become one of Inter's most potent attacking players.

YUTO NAGATOMO


While he may not have struggled nearly as much as Jonathan in his own Inter infancy, Yuto Nagatomo was another who took some time to really show the San Siro crowd what he could do.

Playing at a wing-back as opposed to an orthodox full-back has clearly been to the Japan international's benefit, and his performances over the course of the past season have largely been inspirational.

Just as the Brazilian has given the Nerazzurri greater impetus from the right side, so Nagatomo has given them greater production down the left, scoring five goals and making five more in his 34 league appearances.

Such has been his impact and consistency, the 27-year-old has even been handed the famed armband from time to time, suggesting he is seen as a big part of the club's plans from 2014-15 onwards.

RODRIGO PALACIO


Inter first attempted to sign Rodrigo Palacio when Gian Piero Gasperini was handed the keys to the coach's office at Appiano Gentile in the summer of 2011. Five games on, the boss was gone, but ever since the Argentine's eventual arrival in 2012, he has had an altogether more memorable impact.

Following a return of 22 goals in 39 fixtures during his first campaign in black and blue, Palacio has continued to lead from the front in 2013-14, netting 19 times in all competitions.

Crucial doubles against Lazio, Parma and Torino, as well as the winner in the season's first Milan derby, ended up proving vital as the Nerazzurri pipped a number of tough rivals to the coveted fifth spot in the Serie A table.

The 32-year-old is to Inter in 2014 what his countryman Diego Milito was to the club in 2010. Regardless of the flow of any match, Palacio gets the goals when it matters.

Poll of the day

Who is Inter's Player of the Season?

Related

From the web