Talentspotter Lautaro Martinez
COMPARED TO: Gabriel Batistuta – at least that’s how Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli sees him. Martinez begs to differ: “No, no, I want to be like Radamel Falcao.”
THE STORY SO FAR: A natural No.9 and a lethal finisher. His goal record shows that when deployed centrally. Made his debut aged 15 at Liniers, moving to Racing Club a year later. In contention to make Argentina’s World Cup squad, he turned down a loan move to Real Madrid Castilla in 2016 and then looked set to join Atletico Madrid. He is now bound for Serie A side Inter this summer, having hit a hat-trick when one of the Nerazzurri’s directors went to see him. Arsenal were also linked.
NICKNAME: El Toro (‘The Bull’), because of his strength. Celebrates goals by emulating the horns of a bull with his fingers. SOCIAL MEDIA:
Not into it any more. “I used to spend a lot of time on it, but most things I read were not doing me any good,” he said. “If you score three goals you are the best. If you miss, the fans ask what you are doing at Racing!” DID YOU KNOW? Sent off against England at last year’s U20 World Cup, for elbowing Fikayo Tomori... HE SAID: “I would rather watch a basketball game than football”, although he gave up a potential basketball career when he was 15.