StoryGonzalo Higuain predicts bright future ahead for Lautaro Martinez

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has hailed the qualities of Lautaro Martinez and believes his compatriot could have an extraordinary career ahead. The Argentina international was a regular for the Nerazzurri upfront last season but his gametime has reduced this term with summer signing Romelu Lukaku regarded as the first-choice striker under manager Maurizio Sarri.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Higuain said that Martinez is a very strong player but he needs to be strong minded in order to overcome the criticism towards his performances, he told: “Lautaro Martinez is a very strong player, he plays in a strong team in Italy in Inter. Lautaro is good and he must be strong minded in order to overcome the potential difficulties and criticism. I hope he has an extraordinary career. The conditions for him to have one are certainly all there. The fans expect the centre forward to always score goals. If you do not score then you will be criticised even if you have had a good game.”

Martinez has been used sparingly from the starting XI this term and that has come about from the impressive form of Lukaku upfront. The Belgian has already amassed three goals from four appearances and he should continue commanding the centre-forward role for the timebeing. Meanwhile, Higuain has had a second lease of life under Sarri after spending loan stints with AC Milan and Chelsea last season.

Higuain was completely out-of-favour under former boss Max Allegri but things have been different under Sarri, who has played him regularly from the starting XI. The Argentine has not necessarily excelled with just one goal and an assist, but he has remained a regular choice to lead the attack with Mario Mandzukic not considered as a part of the manager’s plans. The Croatian has been deemed surplus to requirements and is free to leave the club at the turn of the year.