Inter Milan are hoping that big goals at the Copa America can inspire Lautaro Martinez to improve his performances in the Champions League.

This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.

There is certainly no question about Martinez’s importance to Inter.

The 26-year-old has been Nerazzurri captain since inheriting the armband from Samir Handanovic last summer.

And Martinez has been Inter’s top scorer in each of the last three seasons. Last time around, he was top scorer in all of Serie A.

But while the volume of Martinez’s league goals was certainly crucial to Inter winning the league, there remain some doubts about the Argentine’s performances in big matches.

Particularly in the Champions League.

Last season, Martinez put in a relatively poor display against Atletico Madrid, failing to score as Inter went out at the round of sixteen stage of Europe’s top club competition.

In the prior campaign, Inter had done much better. They reached the final of the Champions League.

But Martinez was hardly the key player to the Nerazzurri’s success.

The Argentine had a standout performance in a 3-3 draw against Barcelona in the group stage. And he scored goals to wrap up knockout ties against Benfica and AC Milan.

But there were other Inter players whose contributions were more consistent and vital.

Inter Hope Copa America Heroics Inspire Lautaro Martinez To Make The Leap In Champions League

Another big competition in which Martinez was far from his best was the World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina won that tournament. But the Inter captain failed to score or assist a goal along the way, and did not start in any of the knockout matches.

And that was perhaps part of why Martinez did not start either of the Albiceleste’s first two matches at the Copa America this summer.

It was Julian Alvarez who started in his place.

But that did not stop Martinez from scoring off the bench – including a late winner against Chile.

And in the Inter captain’s first start at the Copa, he scored twice against Peru.

Now, Martinez will be heading into the knockout stages of that competition full of confidence.

Inter’s hope will be that Martinez just keeps the momentum going.

And that this summer is the catalyst that the 26-year-old needs to find the ability to show his best in big knockout matches.