In the awful time which we find ourselves in with the global pandemic of Coronavirus, this isn’t stopping clubs worldwide taking full advantage of the lack of game time and helping strengthen for next season, and Chelsea Football Club is certainly one of those clubs. In the recent months and weeks, we have been linked with players such as Ben Chillwell, Alex Telles, Alex Sandro, Jadon Sancho and not to forget, Declan Rice. Yes, really.
All bar one of those names would be great signings but that’s not who I want to focus on today. I want to focus on the 22-year-old, Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. We’ve heard of his name quite a lot in the recent weeks and I’m sure you’ve seen people write about him being a “great signing” but do we really know who the guy we are willing to pay £100 million release clause for really is? Well, I’m about to tell you.
Martinez started off his footballing career with Argentine Football Club, Liniers de Bahia Blanca. A club his father, Mario, played for. Whilst playing for the U17 side, Martinez scored a respectable 13 goals. One of those coming in the National Cup Final against Rosario. Unfortunately, this didn’t come to much as Liniers ended up losing on penalties.
Racing Club de Avellaneda
After a successful period at Liniers, the eye of Racing Club was caught and they ultimately signed Martinez in January 2014. However, it didn’t start off the way both parties expected it to. Shortly after joining, Martinez began to suffer from homesickness even though Racing Club was only just 40 minutes away from his hometown. Less than 20 miles. It was due to the encouragement from fellow Argentine, Braian Mansilla, which led Martinez to stay. He went on to score 53 goals in 64 appearances for the reserve side.
In 2015, Racing Club and Spanish giants Real Madrid thought they had agreed on a deal for Martinez’s signature, only for him to decide to stay in his home country. After this, his Primera División debut came on the 1st of November 2015. Martinez came on as a second-half substitute. The game ended in a 3-0 win. Martinez began to improve and mature only for him to receive his first career red card in the game against Argentinos that ended 2-2. Shortly after, he scored his first goal, netting the opener in a 1–1 draw with Huracán in November.
The 2016-2017 season for Martinez seemed to be a pivotal one in his career. Due to the injury of fellow striker Lisandro Lopez, Martinez became a more of a vital part of the first team set up. He had an ok campaign that saw him score 9 goals in 23 league appearances.
2017-2018 saw him retain his position up until December 2017, where he had a medical with Spanish side Atletico Madrid this time. Nevertheless, Racing Club announced that Martinez had now signed a renewed contract. Martinez didn’t let this stop him leading the line for Racing. On 27th February 2018, Martinez scored his second career hat trick. Scoring three times against the Brazilian side, Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores where Racing won 4-2.
3rd time lucky? Martinez finally made the move from Racing Club and joined Italian side Inter Milan on the 4th July 2018 for a fee that was reported to be in the region of €22.7 million where he signed a 5-year deal. Carrying on from Racing Club, he led the line on his league debut on the 19th of August 2018. A bittersweet day for him as they lost 1-0 to Sassuolo. He scored his first league goal against Cagliari, the opener of a 2–0 win at San Siro on 29 September. Due to the absence of Mauro Icardi, Martinez continued to enjoy leading the front line where he helped Inter move up to 3rd place where he scored and assisted against main rival AC Milan. He finished scoring 10 for Inter and 5 for Argentina.
Move on to the current 19-20 season, Martinez was continuing to score and bagged his first goal in the Champions League against Barcelona. Before the postponement of the season, Martinez was only a flyer scoring 18 goals in 31 appearances.
Would I bring Martinez to the Bridge? 100% yes. As you can see, season after season he has been improving. To lead the line alongside Lukaku at the young age of 22 is not a bad accomplishment. Without any doubt, he would improve our squad and I think he and Tammy would learn a lot from each other.
It is now time to see if Marina will be willing to pay that huge release clause.
Written by – @CFC_CHRIS97