• Serie A

Radja Nainggolan believes there have been unfair expectations on him

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Radja Nainggolan believes he’s been unfairly singled out for criticism at Inter Milan due to the high expectations that were placed on him.

Since completing a €38m transfer from AS Roma last summer, Nainggolan has struggled to live up to his price tag and was suspended for “disciplinary reasons” by Inter in December.

The former Belgium international struggled with ankle problems earlier in the season and, therefore, he’s only managed 19 Serie A appearances this season.

Although Nainggolan has begun to show signs of improvement at the San Siro amid some strong performances in the Inter midfield in their past six games.

“I was criticized too much because everyone was expecting a lot from me, but I had so many injuries that I never had in my career,” Nainggolan told the Serie A’s YouTube.

“But being back to score was a great satisfaction, and I hope I can continue on this path.”

Last month, the 30-year-old midfielder revealed a pact he made with Inter manager Luciano Spalletti amid struggles to deal with personal issues.

“Spalletti? The relationship with the coach has always been a good relationship,” said Nainggolan.

“I think he is meticulous and tactically very solid. If he cares for you, then he really cares for you. He did a lot to bring me here and I hope from here to finally give him so much.

The Nerazzurri’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League received a very welcome boost last weekend following their 3-2 derby victory over Ac Milan.

Therefore, Spalletti’s side leapfrogged their neighbours into third-place in the Serie A and hold a six-point advantage over Roma in fifth.

“This year’s Inter is a strong team, a healthy and united group,” added Nainggolan.

“The only thing that we are missing is continuity in the results but we want to reach the Champions League for next year.”

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