FINALLY, A NEW NUMBER 10 - Lautaro Martinez to arrive this weekend, new Inter chapter ready to begin
INTER POINTING TOWARDS ITS NUMBER 10
- Finally, Spalletti has his Lautaro "The Bull" Martinez who is worth 111 million euros.
- The 20-year-old's contract was submitted yesterday. He was "locked up" by Ausilio in February.
- Can complement Icardi and already has a super clause.
The fans of Racing in Bahia Blanca, his city, greeted him a week ago by organizing a party with autographs for everyone and also many photos for souvenir: “Thank you Lautaro! Good luck and we will follow you as always. This is not a goodbye but more of a ‘see you soon.’” From Argentina to Inter, Lautaro is ready to open new chapter in his career. On Monday, the contract that will link him to Inter was submitted to the league office: the former forward of Racing has signed a contract until 2023 at 1.5 million per season; the release clause of 111 million is also confirmed, one more million than that of Icardi.
The number 10: between stars and flops
- Lothar, the winner - There was no fixed number but Matthaeus won a lot with the number 10, including 1989 Scudetto.
- Ronie, the first - Ronaldo arrived in 1998 and in his first year, he took the number 10. Afterwards, the number 9 was his.
- Sneijder, the treble winner - The Dutch, arrived in 2009, was one of the heroes of Mourinho's treble in 2010.
- Joao Mario, the disappointment - Joao arrived in 2016 and was very disappointed. He went to West Ham on loan. He is now back but will leave again.
Lautaro Martinez had his first taste of Italy at the end of May when he was here for medical and contract signing, also for the first words (“Inter, we will return to the top, I have never been this happen in my life”), but now it really gets serious. He will arrive in Milan again and for good between Saturday and Sunday: Monday the Argentinian will be at Appiano Gentile for training camp. Il Toro (Bull) will wear the number 10 shirt although he is actually a pure forward, a true number 9. He will be available at Spalletti’s disposal, all 20 years of force, of power (172 cm, 80 kg), as well as the ability to do many things for himself and also for the team.
AUDITION - Lautaro Martinez is the player that started the 2018-2019 shopping campaign. The special feeling that Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio had for the player turned into signature. The Inter transfer market man sealed the deal by the end of January and immediately flew to Buenos Aires to close everything for Martinez, on whom there were Atletico Madrid of Simeone and Real Madrid of Zidane.
This happy ending was the result of vice president Zanetti’s charisma and the much beloved legendary forward Diego Milito, technical secretary of Racing and great sponsor of Lautaro. In front of Ausilio’s eyes, Lautaro did a fantastic audition: three goals and one penalty earned against Huracan. Two from his left foot although he is right footed, plus a counterattack similar to Palacio, the famous compatriot of Lautaro like Manu Ginobili, the basketball legend, the sport that challenged football as his number one passion for 15 years. Deal was made for 25 million.
And to think that he was rejected by Boca Juniors (“They said that I was not fast and was not worth of their club”). Lautaro-mania spread all over Argentina: 13 goals in 21 league games, 5 in Copa Libertadores, the dream of national team call-up and the first training session next to Messi. There was hope of going to World Cup in Russia but it was shut down by the rejection of national team coach Sampaoli with much regret and pride for the shirt that Lautaro has admired so much since he was a kid.
EXCEPTION - So far, Inter have treasured 707 Serie A appearances with Asamoah (230), De Vrij (95), Nainggolan (286) and Politano (96), Lautaro will have to prove that he is the chosen one for our football. Spalletti has not seen him play live but he knows Lautaro well: “He is strong technically, very solid physically and has the right mentality. He is a mobile player who can also play as a second forward if necessary.” Martinez came on the scenes last season playing in a 4-1-3-2 formation in an attacking pair with Lisandro Lopez. And at Inter, he can be used in two different ways, obviously always in close contact with Icardi, in an all Argentinian attack that promises fireworks. “I cannot wait to play with Mauro, it will be fantastic. I think we are absolutely complementary to each other,” he said a few weeks ago. Lautaro can either play next to Mauro or just a bit further back as a trequartita. Inter are betting on their new number 10.