Barcelona are keeping track of Lautaro Martínez
Lautaro Martínez is one of the rising stars of European football. The Argentina international’s graph just seems to go up and up at Inter Milan, and Barcelona have taken note. But can the youngster solve the problems facing Ernesto Valverde’s side?
Luis Suárez is certainly ageing, but he bounced back from his fitness issues last season. This season too, he has been in great goalscoring form, showing incredible skill in the box. Nevertheless, Barça need to find a successor to the 32-year old Uruguayan centre-forward.
Martínez is a very clinical finisher. Despite his relatively limited stature, the former Racing Club forward is very good in the box. He is an aerial threat, and can create a lot of space with his movement off the ball during set-pieces and counter-attacks.
In that way, Martínez has been the perfect successor to Mauro Icardi at Inter. Most of his appearances came as a substitute last season, but he has started the new season in a prolific manner, scoring 6 goals and providing 2 assists in 11 appearances in all competitions.
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But Martínez is yet to prove himself as a complete forward. He is a very good striker, and proven himself as a very dynamic attacker. But the 22-year old attacker has not shown that he will be able to adapt to a more patient style of play.
Despite Valverde’s recent experiments, Barça are not a side who play counter-attacking, or direct football. Martínez needs to integrate into a passing system of play if he moves to Barça, and he may not have the requisite skill-set.
Martínez is a very good dribbler, but his passing accuracy and assist record mean that Barça could have better options. Moreover, a high-profile young player like Martínez could hamper the growth of the youngsters at Barça.
Ousmane Dembélé has developed well since his move from Borussia Dortmund, but needs increasing amount of playing time to reach his full potential. Also, Ansu Fati’s sudden breakthrough needs to be turned into a sustainable process of growth.
Carles Pérez has shown glimpses of his talent, and he has a lot of potential. All three players would be hurt by Martínez’s arrival, especially with the formation of the new MSG trident. Therefore, Barça should look at other players, who cost less than €110 million.