Liverpool transfer gossip: Reds eye striker who Lionel Messi has compared to Luis Suarez

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez in action amid speculation over his future with Liverpool linked

According to 90min, Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez is of interest to several Premier League clubs including Liverpool.

What’s the latest news involving Lautaro Martinez?

Liverpool are one of the sides that are keeping tabs on Inter's Martinez, alongside Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

The 90min report says that the financial implications at Inter mean the club could be forced to sell the forward this summer.

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How much is Martinez worth?

According to 90min, the 23-year-old could be available for less than £70m which could be regarded as good value considering Martinez's age and proven goalscoring record.

Based on figures from Transfermarkt, Martinez is worth £63m after being signed for £22.5m from Racing Club in 2018, which makes the £70m estimate seem pretty accurate.

What are Martinez’s stats this season?

According to WhoScored, the Argentine has scored 18 goals this season and has been a big part of Inter Milan's title winning campaign in Serie A.

Martinez has offered a constant threat up top alongside Romelu Lukaku and has achieved 2.9 shots per league game, the most in the side. No player in the Inter squad has been fouled more times (1.5) than the forward this season either. 

He has also recorded five assists in the 2020/21 Serie A campaign.

What has been said about Martinez?

Praise from Lionel Messi is probably the biggest compliment you can receive, and speaking to Mundo Deportivo last year as quoted by the Evening Standard, the six-time Ballon d'or winner said that Martinez is "spectacular".

Messi said, "He has impressive qualities, you could tell he was going to be a great player and he is showing that.

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"He's very strong, really good one-one-one, scores a lot of goals and in the area he fights anyone, holds it up, he can turn, scrap to win it all on his own. He has a lot of quality. He's very complete."

Martinez's strike-partner Lukaku has also waxed lyrical about the Argentine, calling him a "beast".

Speaking on Instagram live, as per the Daily Mail, Lukaku said, "Amazing, this guy is really a beast."

He added, "He is doing so well, he keeps improving, I love him."

Liverpool’s next Luis Suarez?

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo as per the Evening Standard, Messi also compared his international teammate with one of his former Barcelona teammates, Luis Suarez.

When asked about Martinez's similarities to Suarez, Messi said, "Lautaro is very similar to Luis in many ways: both of them are strong with their body, they hold the ball up well. When it comes to fighting for the ball, to goals, they have a lot of similarities."

Suarez was a pivotal part of the Liverpool side that came so close in the 2013/14 Premier League season to ending the Reds' long wait for a league title. That year Suarez was undoubtedly one of the world's best as he had 43 goal contributions in 31 games in the Premier League and a WhoScored rating of 8.43.

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Messi's comparison of the pair is very accurate according to WhoScored, as stats show they've had freakishly similar seasons this year.

Whilst Suarez and Martinez both share the desire for getting shots on goal (3.1 and 2.9 per game respectively), they also have a creative aspect to their game with 0.9 and 1 key passes each league outing.

At Liverpool Suarez was famous for his relentless pressing and work off the ball. WhoScored details that one of Martinez's strengths is his defensive contribution, while noting he likes to tackle and commits fouls often. 

If the Reds were to sign Martinez, his statistics show that he is a similar kind of player who could have a likewise impact.

 

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