Lautaro Martínez is a cross between Sergio Agüero and Luis Suárez. For quite some time, he’s been tipped to be the next big South American forward and prior to his move to Internazionale, the brutish striker was linked with moves to Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Argentine looked destined for a switch to Atléti to link up with compatriot Deigo Simeone. Los Colchoneros have a track record of developing forwards, with the likes of Agüero, Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa all members of their alumni.
But Inter pounced, making him their No.10 and this season, under new manager Antonio Conte, Martínez has relished increased responsibility alongside Romelu Lukaku.
His form, 16 goals in 28 appearances in Serie A and the Champions League, has resulted in him being linked with Europe’s elite. In fact, El Clásico rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly battling it out to convince the 22-year-old that his future lies in LaLiga while Manchester City are believed to be keen on signing him to succeed Agüero.
Martínez’s release clause stands at €111million. An eye-watering amount but not an unrealistic one in the current climate. A handful of clubs could activate that. But where might be best for his development? Using Football Manager 2020, we’ve taken a look at how the Argentina international’s career pans out over the next five years.
After a prolific spell in Italy – with a return of 45 goals across two seasons as the main man at San Siro – Manchester United swooped to bring him to Old Trafford. The Red Devils parted with £89million to sign the penalty box poacher and their outlay was justified.
During his three seasons in England, Martínez scored 50 goals and assisted a further 16. His goals didn’t yield any trophies, however, with United struggling. Ole Gunnar Solskjær was eventually sacked after a series of sixth-placed finishes.
In a better team, you can’t help but feel Martínez could’ve been one of the best strikers in the game. All of his key stats point towards him being a prolific forward. A decent finisher with a superb first touch and great technique. He’s rated at a 17 for anticipation, 16 for concentration and 19 for determination.
Off the ball, the Argentine is decent and it leads to him getting into areas which allow him to carve out high-quality chances with great regularity. It sounds very much like the 22-year-old in real life. If he gets his next move right, Martínez could develop into a special talent.