Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Manchester City Hold Trump Card In Race To Land This Inter Forward: What Should Be Pep’s Play?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Sport has claimed that Manchester City are holding a trump card in the race to land Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez. It is understood that Man City can tip the scales in their favour if they keep hold of Martinez’s international teammate Sergio Aguero beyond the end of this campaign. Sport also states that Pep Guardiola’s team will have ‘more and better arguments to convince the Argentine star to snub a move to La Liga in favour of a switch to the Etihad Stadium (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Martinez’s Rich Vein Of Form At The San Siro This Season

Martinez has made an impressive start to this campaign after producing a run of productive performances as the focal point of Antonio Conte’s attack. The Argentine sensation has registered five goals and two assists in ten appearances for the Italian outfit this term on all fronts.

The 23-year-old has caught the eye for averaging 3.1 shots, 1.3 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Serie A and the UEFA Champions League this season. However, he has been guilty of needlessly throwing away possession at times as evidenced by his pass success rate of 66.1% in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

The South American attacker has established himself amongst the Serie A’s best goal-scorers but is yet to win a major trophy in his career. Even then, Pep Guardiola will do well to lure him to the north-west of England as he will undoubtedly bolster his squad significantly next summer.

Manchester City hold trump card in race to land Martinez who is in action in the picture
Inter Milan’s Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez (R) controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Inter Milan, at the Juventus stadium in Turin on March 8, 2020. – The match is played behind closed doors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Argentine Forward Bring To The Etihad Stadium?

Martinez is a multi-purpose striker as he has got a bit of everything in his game to be a constant nuisance for the opposition centre-backs. He is a quick and agile forward who can make some dangerous dribbles in the final third.

The 19-time Argentine international possesses remarkable strength that enables him to hold the ball up for his teammates. He can score all kinds of goals which makes him one of the most highly sought after centre-forwards in European football.

What Should Be Guardiola’s Play Here?

Guardiola would be wise to tie Aguero down to a new short-term contract so that he can use his presence to convince Martinez to come to Manchester next summer. Both of them could form a devastating attacking partnership at the Etihad in the upcoming campaign.

However, Martinez’s arrival might hamper Gabriel Jesus’ development as he is slowly becoming a key member of Guardiola’s first-team this season. Either way, the Mancunian giants should consider testing Inter Milan’s resolve by engineering a big-money move for Martinez at the end of this campaign as he is a player who could fire them to a UEFA Champions League win in the coming seasons.

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