Antonio Conte should be grateful Inter did not sign Edin Dzeko in January, according to the Nerazzurri’s former striker Aldo Serena.
Dzeko was linked with a last-minute move to Inter in a possible loan exchange involving Alexis Sanchez, after the Bosnian fell out with Roma’s head coach Paulo Fonseca.
Talks between the clubs eventually collapsed but Inter have not suffered for it, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez powering Conte’s side four points clear of AC Milan in Sunday’s derby.
Asked if the Lu-La partnership was one of the strongest attacks in Europe, Serena told Tuttosport: “I think so, they proved it once more in the derby.
“During the January transfer market, when there was talk of Dzeko moving to Inter, I voiced my opposition to the idea because it would have broken Inter’s magic up front.
“I’m happy for Lautaro, he needed confidence and I am sure that the last two games will help him feel more at the levels of Lukaku.”
Serena proceeded to praise Conte for the way in which he has utilised the Belgian and Argentine national team representatives.
“They are a prolific partnership, they are the two first strikers and Conte knows how to use them well,” he argued.
“He makes them play close together and while strong individually, together they increase their own qualities.
“It is hard to find a weak point to them when they are doing well.”
Serena then reminisced about the partnership he had with Ramon Diaz during Inter’s 1988-89 Serie A title-winning season, a strike force Lukaku and Lautaro are on course to outscore.
“We were really complementary for each other,” he recalled.
“I knew how to do some things and others less well and Ramon vice versa.
“We managed precise areas on the pitch: if a long ball arrived, he would come close to me for the knock-down, whereas if he was on the wing he would put the ball where I wanted it.
“Unlike Lu-La, we were complete as a partnership but less so individually.”
In conclusion, Serena was asked how he would rate his and Diaz’s partnership in comparison to Lukaku and Lautaro’s partnership.
He awarded 9/10 to himself and Diaz, and as for Lukaku and Lautaro he said: “They have just started, for now they are a 9/10.
“But if they win the Scudetto…”