Why a move to Barcelona is the right next step for Martinez

There aren’t many nations in the world that can compare to Argentina when it comes to producing genuine top-class talent in the final third.

Aside from the obvious in Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero are just some of the forwards who have come from the South American country and starred in Europe over the years.

And, one player who has gone about joining that illustrious list of players is Lautaro Martinez.

The 22-year-old joined Inter Milan in the summer of 2018 and he has really made his mark on Serie A this season, contributing with 11 league goals and forming a very productive partnership with Romelu Lukaku that has fired Antonio Conte’s men into contention for the Scudetto.

However, there has already been plenty of talk that he could leave the Italian giants for Barcelona, with the Catalan outfit one of a select few clubs that would represent a clear upgrade on Inter Milan. The appeal of playing for Barcelona will be obvious, and the La Liga leaders see Martinez as the ideal long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

The former Racing Club man will surely have ambitions of becoming one of the best in the world for club and country, and a switch to Spain would give him the platform to do just that.

Firstly, the chance to play with Messi is not something that comes along very often, and with the Ballon D’Or winner turning 33 at the end of June, time is, unfortunately, running out on his amazing career.

From Martinez’s perspective, building an understanding with Messi could also increase his chances of starting for the national team as well. The Argentinian captain has at least one more tournament left in him, but finding a striker he clicks with has been a problem in the past.

If he could develop a relationship at club level with Martinez, it could transfer to the national team and potentially make La Albiceleste one of the favourites when it comes to international football betting at upcoming major tournaments.

Another important factor to take into consideration is how playing for Barcelona will force a change in mentality for the player. Whilst Inter are undoubtedly a massive club, the reality is that there are higher expectations at Barca, who simply have to compete for the Champions League and to win titles every season.

Such pressure requires a strong mindset, and Martinez will have to show he has the character and the ability to cope in an environment that some elite players have failed to shine in previously – such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

That could cause some to think the striker is better off staying in the Italian capital for another few years to ensure he makes the move when he may be more mature. But, the reality is that this is the best opportunity for Martinez.

Barcelona need another option in attack to ease the burden on Messi, and the prospect of Martinez linking up with the maestro for the next few years could be devastating for both club and country.

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