Inter hitman Lautaro Martinez on course to become world's best striker


Lautaro Martinez is already in the higher echelon of strikers in the top five leagues. His consistent output for Inter Milan, being their top-scorer in all competitions for the past two seasons, has made him one of the most prolific players in Europe. But this season, he is on course to smash his goal record for the club, albeit only after three matches. He is scoring every 52 minutes on average, at a rate of 1.67 per game. It means he is on course for 63 goals across the season at this stage. Of course, the anticipation that the number will dwindle, but it’s still an extremely strong start.  


He joined Inter in 2018, after a superb season with Racing Club of the Argentine Primera Division, arriving at the San Siro for a modest €22.7m. During his first campaign in Italy, with Luciano Spalletti at the helm, Martinez had to contend with Mauro Icardi as the leading man. But he still pitched in with nine goals in his inaugural campaign, featuring on the flank for two games, as a second striker for the same amount, and a further 30 matches as the No. 9. 


This followed up with a then-career best of 21 goals in the subsequent season, dividing his time as a second striker and a forward, with around 20 games apiece in each positon. This was the season that arguably Martinez made his mark across Europe as an accomplished goalscorer. This was no doubt bolstered by his six goal contributions in six Champions League outings, too. Inter did not make it to the knockout stages on this occasion, but Martinez’s goal prowess continued to the Europa League, helping them reach the final where they lost 3-2 to Sevilla.  


The season after, Martinez scored 17 goals and assisted 10 in Serie A, as they won the Scudetto with Antonio Conte in charge. In this instance, it was Romelu Lukaku who was the main source of goals, but Martinez was developing as an astounding member of the club’s attack. But since the Belgian's departure, Martinez has become the focal point of goals for Inter, being their highest-scorer with a combination of 53 goals across their last two seasons. 


Lautaro Martinez’s Transfer Value (xTV) - how much is he worth? 


Martinez has an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €76.6m. When Inter signed the Argentine, he was valued at €8.7m, meaning that the Italian giants overpaid by some €13m or so. But the transfer has paid dividends. In the turn of 2021, Martinez shot up in valuation to €68m. It was just a year later, in January 2022, that he peaked at €92.4m.


Inter hitman Lautaro Martinez on course to become world's best striker


Since then, the striker has been on a slow decline, but he still remains one of the Most Valuable Argentine Players, as per FootballTransfers. If his form continues this season, he could be right back to his former value, perhaps higher. 


Lautaro Martinez’s strengths and weaknesses - what does the data say? 


The sample size from this season alone is too small, so taking into account Martinez’s numbers from the Serie A 2022/23 season, it’s clear that he is far more than just a proven goalscorer. Martinez makes 1.2 key passes per match, while his dribbling success rate is solid, succeeding in 0.8 of the 1.9 he attempts per game. 


Martinez can press high up the pitch and force turnovers - his 0.66 interceptions per 90 minutes puts him in the 98th percentile. Furthermore, Martinez enjoys a high volume of ball recoveries, with 3.10 coming per 90 minutes. 


He is confident to strike from anywhere - on average, he makes 3.3 shots per match - and while a majority of his strikes were made inside the penalty area (2.2), 0.7 came from outside the box, and 0.4 inside the six-yard box. 


The 26-year-old’s versatility makes him stand out from the rest of the elite strikers and the fact he can play just behind as a No. 10 means that the 4-2-3-1 formation is perfect for the Argentime. Martinez is already a household name but the trajectory that he is on this season means that we could be seeing his peak years on the horizon. And if you’re a foe like AC Milan, who Inter are set to play this weekend, that is a huge concern.


This article was provided by FootballTransfers

Inter hitman Lautaro Martinez on course to become world's best striker