Inter have confirmed the signing of Racing Club and Argentina striker Lautaro Martínez as the 20-year-old finally put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the San Siro.
Despite travelling to Italy at the end of May to complete a medical and the deal being widely reported as already complete, Inter announced the transfer on Wednesday, capturing Martínez for a reported fee of €22.7 million.
The Racing Club youngster scored 13 goals in 21 appearances in the Superliga last season and five in six Copa Libertadores appearances, resulting in Martínez making his Argentina debut in the 6-1 defeat to Spain in March.
The former Under-20 star may have missed out on Jorge Sampaoli’s World Cup squad but is regarded as one of the brightest talents to come out of Argentina in several years.
“I’m very happy, we were working toward this and now everything is done. I’m very happy for the stage of my career that I’ll experience here. Of course I followed last season, but first of all I want to settle down, meet my teammates and the Coach [Luciano Spalletti],” Martínez said on his first day as an official Inter player.
“After that I want to understand what I’ll be doing on the pitch, and of course I’ll give everything for this shirt.
“I expect to adapt quickly, but obviously for me it will be a completely different style of play to the Argentinian one. I think Serie A will be crucial for me to learn more and add new qualities to my game.
“I was lucky enough to share a dressing room with Diego Milito at Racing Club, so he told me what Inter means many times. I also spoke with Javier Zanetti, they left an important mark on this club and I want to follow in their footsteps.”
Inter’s current number nine and captain, Mauro Icardi has already called Martínez to welcome him to the club and while many would argue Icardi should have been starting for Argentina in Russia, Inter now have two of the best strikers the country has to offer.
A lethal finisher of all types of goals, Martínez’s movement and intelligence around the penalty box creates the minute spaces with which he can finish off both feet and his head. A willing runner into the channels, Toro’s strength makes him almost impossible to knock off the ball and his underrated link-up play and passing can create opportunities for his strike partner.
Quick, strong, tenacious and a natural goal scorer, Inter have bagged themselves a very special player and a potential partnership with Mauro Icardi could see both starring for Argentina sooner rather than later.