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Inter Milan's Copa America players: Miranda, Murillo, Banega, Medel

Joao Miranda should find himself busy this summer.

With the Copa America and Rio Olympics just around the corner, Internazionale fans can look forward to watching the best of what South America has to offer.

There may only be five Nerazzurri in action (four at the Copa, with one in Rio), though their quality will more than make up for the lack of quantity...

Joao Miranda, Brazil

Responsible for helping Jeison Murillo form Inter's best defensive partnership since Walter Samuel and Lucio, Miranda may not be the fastest or the flashiest of defenders, but his anticipation and composure have been a breath of fresh air at the San Siro.

Having generally performed well with Brazil, Miranda's real weakness is the team around him: though he's Dunga's most capped defender (with 22 appearances), the Selecao boss has been unable to find his captain a partner, cycling through Shandong Luneng defender Gil, PSG's David Luiz and his club teammate Thiago Silva, who was unceremoniously dropped.

Even worse, Miranda's standing with Brazil may make him a liability for Inter, as Dunga plans to take him to the Olympics, too. The Rio tournament is set to reach its climax on Aug. 20... just one day before Serie A kicks off again. Will this affect a 31-year-old not known for his speed? We'll find out.

Jeison Murillo, Colombia

It cost Piero Ausilio a mere €9 million to take the Inter youth and former Granada player and turn him into a star. In contrast, Alvaro Pereira cost Marco Branca €10m.

Murillo has plateaued a little since winning the Best Young Player award at the 2015 Copa America, a tournament in which he scored the winner against Brazil. Could it be that Colombia are struggling to play fluid football and protect the defence, or that they can't find Murillo a better partner than Christian Zapata? Just like Miranda, it's hard to critique Murillo when the side are being regularly caught on the counter, as they were in November when they lost 1-0 at home to Argentina.

Though one of the team's best performers, Murillo made two costly errors in his side's 3-2 win over Bolivia in March, and also allowed Arturo Vidal to head Chile ahead in last November's 1-1 draw with Chile. Less polished than Miranda -- especially when it comes to reading the game -- but the 24-year-old can still be counted on to make last-ditch interventions, play the offside trap well and be a thorn in the side of the opposition attack.

Ever Banega, Argentina

If Banega's recent dismantling of Liverpool in the Europa League final is anything to go by, Nerazzurri fans are in for a heck of a season when he arrives after leaving Sevilla this summer. After struggling with off pitch issues early in his career, the 27-year-old has matured enough over the years to claim silverware in Spain and help Argentina to earn 10 out of a possible 12 points in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The midfielder is the modern answer to the age-old enganche (pivot, playmaker) dilemma: buzzing around the pitch, his exceptional touch allows him to take pressure off the defence and unleash the likes of Angel Di Maria and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who scored against Chile and Colombia, respectively.

For the first time in years, Argentina have found a player who can prevent Leo Messi from dropping too deep and offers the side the ammunition to do what he does best: run at defenders from outside the box.

Gary Medel, Chile

Barely a starter and rumoured to be heading for an exit at Inter, the former Sevilla enforcer is right at home in Chile's combative three-man defence; pressing and harrying opponents with aplomb.

Though Jorge Sampaoli's departure was a tragedy for Chile, the team played in much the same attacking style against Argentina in March, and hammered Venezuela 4-1 only a few days later, with "Pitbull" mercilessly hunting down any unfortunate opposition players unlucky enough to stray on his patch.

Considered indispensable at international level, Medel has an eye for goal (smashing in the winner against Roma last December) and has a tireless work ethic.

Mauro Icardi, Argentina

On paper, Icardi's non-selection for Argentina's Copa squad isn't such a problem: inconsistent and at times lackadaisical early on, he was outperformed by Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, who didn't make the it either.

The real issue is Gerardo Martino's insistence that Icardi play in the Olympics, and his regular appearances in the gossip columns rather than the sporting pages.

Inter need their star striker and captain to be fighting fit for the new campaign, while he should be aiming to improve upon his 16 goals from 32 games in Serie A this season. The worry is that a summer spent at the Olympics will tire out the 23-year-old and Nerazzurri fans will be the ones to suffer.

A freelance writer, commentator and broadcaster, Edo is co-editor of Calciomercato.com's English website. Twitter: @EdoDalmonte

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