In a long interview with FCInter1908.it, former Inter striker Alessandro Altobelli heaped yet more praise upon in-form Inter striker Lautaro Martinez.
“I made the comparison between him and Neymar because of the cost: the Brazilian cost more than €200 million and I said that Lautaro is stronger at the moment. I don’t think I’ve gone too far in saying that but I got so many insults,” he began.
“His performances were a surprise for me too. You could see his technical qualities, but I didn’t think that as a starter he would give more than what we used to see. He is a unique player. Not a 9 or a 10, but he knows how to play like a 10 and score like a 9.
“I did not expect such a partnership as good as the one between him and Lukaku which has brought such a return already from their first few matches together. The two of them immediately got on with each other because their characteristics are complimentary and this favours them. They’re the perfect partnership.
“To get along on the pitch, you have to get along off it too, and we’ve seen that as soon as one scores, he immediately tries to find the other. This benefits the whole team.”
He was then asked if he thinks there is a big risk that Barcelona swoop in and take Lautaro Martinez away.
“I do not think so. It is true that there is a release clause, but Lautaro has a special relationship with Inter. I would not sell him unless very big offers came.”
He then spoke on Inter’s position as league leaders in Serie A.
“Inter have lost just a single match in the league against Juve. That day the Nerazzurri didn’t play very well, while Juventus played their best game of the season. Then, however, Conte’s team always played good games. At this moment, for what the players have done, Inter deserves to be in first place.
“We fans must remain with our feet on the ground, but nothing is forbidden. 14 games have already passed, in which Inter have shown that they are second to none. We can say: Inter is there, they are back. The team have the qualities to try and win the title.”
Next he spoke on Antonio Conte, who has won many over despite initial scepticism surrounding his appointment due to his Juventus past.
“In the summer my doubts about Conte were linked above all to the possibility that things did not go well at the beginning but I never had any doubts about Conte’s skill. Among other things, it wasn’t me who had doubts about him, but I saw that some fans did. He’s a great professional. Conte is liked by Inter fans because he thinks only of Inter and this is acknowledged by the fans.”
Altobelli then returned to discuss Romelu Lukaku’s arrival at the club this past Summer.
“Conte clearly wanted him and he did everything to get him signed. There were obstacles but he knew what he wanted and he has managed to put together a strike force that he wanted.”
Altobelli then revealed what he thinks Inter need to do to beat Barcelona in the Champions League.
“We know what kind of team Barça is. We must not think that Barcelona will rest someone, they will come to San Siro to win, as it should be. Inter have to play the game of the year to beat their opponents and progress to the next round. However, I believe it is difficult for everyone, at European level, to play against Inter.”
In conclusion he was asked to give two signings he would make if he was in charge in the upcoming January window.
“We must first see how the injured players recover. In January top players do not usually move clubs. I do not wish to name names but I know that Marotta will do everything to please Conte in pursuit of this year’s goals.”