The “penalty variable” could end up being key to whether or not Inter Milan captain Lautaro Martinez breaks the Serie A goalscoring record.

This is highlighted in today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews.

There is a sense that after Martinez scored twice against Lecce on Sunday, the Inter captain’s chase of the all-time record for most goals in a Serie A season is back on.

The current record is 36. That is held jointly by Gonzalo Higuain with Napoli in the 2015-16 season, and Ciro Immobile with Lazio in the 2019-20 campaign.

Martinez is currently on 22 goals for the Serie A season after his brace over the weekend.

That does not quite see the Argentine on pace to equal or break the record.

But it would certainly not be out of the question. Particularly if Martinez can really run up the goal tally over the final stretch of the season.

Can “Penalty Variable” Be Key For Lautaro Martinez To Break Serie A Goal Record?

As Tuttosport notes, Higuain scored six goals in the last three matches of the 2015-16 season.

And Immobile bagged seven goals in five to end his own record-equalling season.

These kinds of flourishes were what took already spectacular goalscoring seasons into the record books.

So Martinez could be hoping for something similar this campaign.

As the run-in of the season really kicks into gear, there could be some fixtures in which the Nerazzurri captain could really run riot in front of goal.

Inter will likely face some teams with little left to play for. Some of the teams in Serie A midtable may have neither European football to realistically chase, nor any jeopardy of relegation.

Then, there is the fact that some teams will likely rotate for European competitions, or to save key players for “six-pointers” in the league.

And then there is the matter of penalties.

Naturally, spot kicks are an ideal way for strikers to add to their goal totals.

Immobile has virtually always been Lazio’s first-choice taker. And Higuain took his share for Napoli.

The fact that Martinez is not actually Inter’s first-choice taker makes his goal total all the more impressive.

It is midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu who is the undisputed first-choice taker.

Martinez has scored a couple this season. But Calhanoglu is certainly the player with the more consistent record, so he usually is the one to step up.

But if some of the pressure is off of getting results, Martinez may on a few occasions decide to take over from the spot for “selfish” reasons. This could give him two or three more goals to add to his total.

And then that could be just the boost the Martinez needs to catch Higuain and Immobile.