Striker Lautaro Martinez has truly spread his wings at Inter Milan following the departure of his old strike partner Romelu Lukaku.
This is the view in today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, Martinez and Lukaku formed a lethal strike partnership for Inter.
The pair were unquestionably the two first-choice starters in attack under coach Antonio Conte.
At that time, however, there was little question of who the true superstar was.
Martinez had his role to play, scoring plenty of goals and helping to facilitate Lukaku and get the best out of the Belgian.
But it was Lukaku who led Inter’s scoring charts in both seasons. The Belgian looked to be the perfect striker to lead the line in Conte’s system.
Lautaro Martinez Spreads His Wings At Inter Without Romelu Lukaku
When Lukaku departed Inter for Chelsea in 2021, the pressure was on Martinez to become the team’s attacking talisman.
And the Argentine managed to do exactly that.
Martinez finished the 2021-22 season as Inter’s top scorer. With the Argentine in the form he was in, the Nerazzurri didn’t miss Lukaku’s goals nearly as much as some had feared.
And then Lukaku made a shock return to Inter last summer.
Therefore, it seemed as though the Belgian’s partnership with Martinez could resume. Though this time around, it might be less clear who the true superstar was.
Injuries meant that Lukaku didn’t play nearly as much as was expected last season.
Moreover, the presence of Edin Dzeko meant that even when Lukaku was fully fit, he did not always start.
But that wasn’t too much of a problem for Inter. Martinez continued to grow throughout last season, helping power the team to a run to the Champions League final.
Then over the summer, Lukaku and Inter’s relationship broke down in dramatic, acrimonious circumstances.
Therefore the 30-year-old did not come back for this season. He instead joined Roma.
But Martinez has hardly missed Lukaku.
On the contrary, the 26-year-old looks better than ever.
Martinez now wears the captain’s armband for Inter. And he is well out in front in the scoring charts not just for the Nerazzurri, but also for Serie A as a whole.