Over the years Inter have been blessed with top quality Argentine forwards. From the days of Julio Cruz and Hernan Crespo to Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio and of course captain Mauro Icardi. With Milito being the Sporting Director of Racing Avellaneda, it hardly came as a surprise that Inter won the race to sign Lautaro Martinez.
Born in Bahia Blanca, Lautaro started his professional career with his local side Liniers. His performances in the National U-17 league where so good they eventually earned him a move to Racing. First he started playing with the reserve team, hitting 53 goals in 64 games. He made his senior league debut at the age of 18, replacing Inter legend Diego Milito as a second half substitute in a 3-0 win over Crucero del Norte and since then his style of play has drawn comparisons with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.
Name: Lautaro Javier Martinez
Key Passes: 22
Lautaro is a lethal striker with great tactical intelligence, enabling him to play in several positions up front. He is quick, skillful, tenacious, technically gifted and hardworking forward that is good at finishing with both feet although he is naturally right footed, and can equally finish from both inside and outside the penalty area with a powerful and accurate shot. Martinez possesses strength, agility, stamina, acceleration, work rate and movement which allows him to exploit spaces and provide assists for his teammates as well as finishing other chances on his own
At times, Lautaro fails to convert his efforts into goals despite being so dominant. Last season he made 85 shots in the Primera Division, averaging 4 shots per game, but could only find the back of the net 13 times. There is undoubtedly room for improvement and given the fact that he will be training with one of the most lethal finishers in Europe, Mauro Icardi, this might not be a problem or an issue in a few years time. Another area that requires massive improvement is his passing as he often misplace his passes.
How He Fits Into Spalletti’s Tactics:
Martinez is capable of playing as a lone striker or together with another striker. At Racing, he was deployed with another striker in a 4-4-2 formation. He often drifted wide to maintain ball possession, combining well with the wingers to either drive inside with the ball or cross from outside the box. This surely clears doubts concerning a successful coexistence with Icardi.
In a 4-2-3-1 system, he is capable of replacing Icardi as a lone striker; bringing a whole new dimension to the attack as well as unpredictability. He can also be used as an impact substitute off the bench. Defenders find it difficult to mark Martinez throughout the game because of his constant movement.
What To Expect:
Despite standing at a height of 174 cm, Lautaro is a very decent header of the ball which several of his goals testify to. He often draws defenders to make fouls, especially when he is trying to take on a player one on one given his immense dribbling ability and has a strong desire to nutmeg opposition players.
Lautaro Martinez has been dubbed by the Argentinian press and pundits as the biggest talent to emerge from Argentina since Sergio Aguero and it is no coincidence that both current and former Argentinian national team players have all heaped praises on the 20 year old as he has potential to be a real superstar in the future.