Friday, January 28, 2022

Barcelona Identify This Serie A Forward As Haaland Alternative: Should The Catalans Go After Him?

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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 report, Sport mentioned that Barcelona have identified Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez as an Erling Haaland alternative this summer. It is believed that the Catalans ‘like’ the Argentina international and could move in for him if they fail to land Haaland from Borussia Dortmund during this summer transfer period (via Sport).

Martinez’s Excellent Numbers At San Siro Last Season

The 23-year-old has continued to showcase what he is capable of in Italian football last season as he put in a series of impressive displays as a key member of Inter’s attack. Martinez managed to net 19 goals and secured 11 assists in 48 matches for the Italian outfit last season in various competitions.

The Argentine sensation was a consistent performer for his team in the final third after he averaged 2.9 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Serie A and UEFA Champions League. However, he was a bit untidy with his ball distribution as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 67.7% in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Martinez has been a joy to watch alongside his strike partner Romelu Lukaku in the Serie A, so it makes sense for Barca to register their interest in the player this summer as he could become a success story at the Nou Camp in the years to come.

Barcelona identify Martinez as Haaland alternative (Martinez is seen in the photo)
IPP20210523 Football – soccer: Serie A, Inter Mailand – Udinese Calcio, Lautaro Martinez segna il gol del 3-0 Verwendung nur in Deutschland – GERMANY ONLY *** IPP20210523 Football soccer Serie A, Inter Milan Udinese Calcio, Lautaro Martinez segna il gol del 3 0 Use only in Germany GERMANY ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxONLY

Should The Catalans Go After Martinez This Summer?

Martinez boasts electric pace that helps him complete some dangerous dribbles in the attacking end of the pitch. He has got the vision to pick out a killer pass in and around the opposition penalty area. More importantly, the 24-time Argentina international knows how to find the back of the net regularly at the highest level.

Martinez is versatile enough to play in any position across the frontline. The ex-Racing Club attacker is primarily a forward but can also fill in as a winger on either flank if required. Hence, he could prove to be a marquee acquisition for the Catalan giants as they need to add more firepower to their attack in this off-season. Martinez will improve Ronald Koeman’s offensive department considerably heading into the new season.

At 23, Martinez is only going to get better with each season. Therefore, Barca can expect him to have a great resale value in the future if they can get a deal over the line for him this summer. With all things considered, Koeman should consider cutting off some of the deadwood from his squad so that he can fund a move and go after Martinez before the start of the new campaign.

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