Inter midfielder names Milan star as his favourite opponent to battle with

By Oliver Fisher -

Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi has claimed that he relishes the physical battles out on the field, naming Theo Hernandez as his favourite opponent to face.

Frattesi has become one of the early stars of Luciano Spalletti’s Italy reign as well as a key cog for Simone Inzaghi’s side, and he could have been a Milan player had things gone slightly differently over the summer.

Inter were the team that were always strongest linked with him when he was at Sassuolo, but when they stalled due to a lack of funds Milan tried to make a decisive move after selling Sandro Tonali.

There were several meetings with Frattesi’s entourage, including a lunch to try and gauge if they could steal him from their cousins, but in the end he honoured his word and went to the Nerazzurri.

Frattesi has given an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport in which he talks about his time at Inter so far – where he has often had to settle for a spot on the bench – and even about the derbies.

You are a unique case of a starter for the national team who is a reserve at club level. How do you find that?

“I didn’t think I’d be a starter straight away. It would have been stupid to even think about it and then 100% of the Serie A midfielders here would never start.

“I see the bench as a normal thing, an opportunity for growth, also because doing it in a way different would be counterproductive. I have never regretted choosing Inter.”

Isn’t it frustrating to have Micki-Calha-Barella in front of you?

“No, it’s a stimulus. I feel like a modern, intense midfielder, but I have to make my own path: if I want to aim to be a starter in the future, we need to improve in construction.

“The model is Barella: he is a runner, an attacking midfielder, but with work he has improved a lot in managing the ball. Here, I have to do the same.”

What would you take from the midfield trio?

“From Calha, shooting and calm: he is one of the best playmakers in the world. From Mkhitaryan, the technical skills and tactical intelligence. From Barella, that mental leap that I was saying and which takes you to another level.”

Which partner has surprised you the most so far?

“In training camp Thuram didn’t seem so strong technically, but then the championship started and he transformed. He became impressive in his technique: one-two, passes to the millimetre.”

Which player do you like to battle the most on the pitch with?

“I like physical battles with Theo Hernandez: he’s fast, tough, very strong. It’s nice to ‘go at it’ with someone like that and luckily the last few times my team has always won…”

But is the indomitable Frattesi afraid of something?

“Flying! Luckily I’m not the only one, even Thuram isn’t exactly at ease on a plane. So, if necessary, we encourage each other.”

Complete the sentence: if I win the second star…

“It’s still a long time… But if it happens, I’ll take grandma Stefania on the bus. It would entertain everyone and it could prevent me from throwing myself down for joy.”


Tags AC Milan Davide Frattesi Theo Hernandez


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