Hernan Crespo has hailed the ‘lethal’ Lautaro Martinez amid reports claiming Manchester City want to sign the Argentina international, while speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport.
In an era defined by false nines and lone centre-forwards, Antonio Conte’s old-school strike partnership feels like a refreshing throwback.
Romelu Lukaku and Martinez would be pretty good on their own but, together, the Belgian and the Argentine have blossomed into perhaps the most fearsome attacking duo in all of European football.
Between them, Lukaku and Martinez have contributed 38 goals in 2020/21 –dovetailing in devastating fashion against bitter rivals AC Milan on Sunday as Inter moved four points clear at the top of the Serie A table with a 3-0 win.
Lautaro is rarely out of the gossip columns these days and, after spending much of 2020 being linked with an unlikely move to cash-strapped Barcelona, EuroSport claims the 23-year-old has been lined up to replace compatriot Sergio Aguero at Manchester City.
But Crespo, a former Nerazzuri ace, is quick to remind Martinez that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. For the first time in a decade, Inter have glory in their sights and are only going in one direction under Conte.
“I have known Lautaro for a long time. Last summer, I advised him to not accept Barcelona’s offer and stay at Inter and in the end I was right,” said Crespo, who previously described Martinez as the ‘new Aguero’.
“Lautaro is lethal in the box and his moves are always directed to shooting at goal. He is strong with his head and takes on defenders taller than him.
“In Italy, there is no partnership as prolific as Lukaku and Lautaro and, even in Europe, I struggle to think of comparisons. They complete each other and everyone in the team plays for them.”
According to Tuttosport, Martinez is likely to reject all offers in favour of extending his stay at the San Siro. He is expected to sign a new, £75,000-a-week deal while ripping up that pesky £100 million release-clause.