Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Genoa was the latest example that confirmed Inter’s best chance for late season success is by having Alexis Sanchez partner Romelu Lukaku, not Lautaro Martinez.
The Argentine was subbed off in the 64th minute after another lethargic and unimpressive performance – a far cry from the kind of form that has propelled Sanchez and his future to the forefront of conversation in Nerazzurri land.
With Lukaku back to his bullish best thanks to two goals – the second of which came after a spectacular solo run deep in stoppage time, Antonio Conte knows he can rely on the Belgian to add to his career-best tally of 28 goals in a campaign.
The question of who should partner him in the remaining Serie A matches and Europa League was also seemingly answered as Sanchez came on and delivered yet again.
His goal on Saturday means he’s had a hand in goals for three consecutive away matches, the first time he’s done so since back in January 2017 when he played for Arsenal.
Add in seven assists since the restart – the most by any player other than Lionel Messi in Europe’s top five leagues – and it’s easy to understand why Conte called for Sanchez’ permanent signing after the game.
The opposite is true for Lautaro, who continues to struggle since the restart. With just two goals in 11 appearances, the Argentine has been unable to match his teammates in attack.
All the early season talk about the partnership known as LuLa has died down, with Martinez more often than not in the headlines due to Barcelona’s noted interest.
Whether the Blaugrana’s desire to land the 22-year-old is at the heart of his drop in form is unknown. It could just be a natural dip for a player still adjusting to regular minutes in Europe.
Whatever it is, it’s clear the hierarchy in the Inter attack has changed as they look to secure second spot and push for the Europe League.
Should Lautaro rediscover his form before the end of the campaign, then no doubt he will carve out the minutes he deserves. Until then however, it’s time to let El Nino Maravilla run wild.