Inter Milan will be led offensively by the dynamic duo of Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram in their Champions League Group D matchup with Salzburg on Tuesday.
Inter’s dynamic pair of Martinez and former strike partner Romelu Lukaku have scored 16 goals between them so far this season, causing fans to forget about Inter’s former idol.
After an uncertain summer in which they had to let go of important players in attack and defence, the duo has turned last season’s losing finalists into one of the Serie A title contenders for this season.
Martinez now has 12 goals in 11 matches across all competitions, and both he and Icardi scored in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Torino, which gave Inter the temporary lead in Italy’s top division.
Since Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku left in the summer, Inter have relied on Martinez to be their primary scorer as they sit atop Serie A with 24 goals.
Martinez, an Argentine striker, has scored 11 goals through nine league games, five more than his closest challenger, Victor Osimhen. If he keeps up this pace, he would break Gonzalo Higuain’s 2016 record of 36 goals scored in a single season.
He’s one of the world’s top attackers and a fantastic player overall. After the 5-1 thrashing of AC Milan last month, in which the France forward scored a magnificent goal, Thuram observed, “Playing with him makes everything easier.”
Martinez’s leadership has been instrumental in facilitating Thuram’s move back to his nation of birth from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
The 26-year-old is the son of French football legend Lilian Thuram, but he was really born in Parma and has a strong connection to Italy; he is fluent in Italian despite having moved to France as a child.
His father spent five years playing for Parma, where he helped the club win the UEFA Cup and the Italian Cup in 1999 alongside stars like Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon of the national team.
Thuram chose Inter over AC Milan and has made an immediate impression, according to Cannavaro, who compared him to Zlatan Ibrahimovic during his early days at Juventus.
Thuram has only scored four goals this season across all competitions, but his five assists, three of which have gone to Martinez, have made him an integral element of the league’s best scoring side in Serie A.
“When he first came here I thought he might need some time to get used to things, but pretty much from the first training session I could tell he was going to come along quickly,” Inzaghi told reporters on Saturday.
As a result of their efforts, Inter is tied for top place in Group D with Real Sociedad with four points after two games.
Martinez ensured that Inter earned a point in their season opener against Sociedad, despite being outplayed for the whole of the game.
Like the goal that opened the scoring on Saturday, Thuram’s goal in a 1-0 win over Benfica earlier this month came off a low cross from Denzel Dumfries.
Salzburg is one point behind Inter, and Sociedad is away at last-place Benfica, so Tuesday’s match is a fantastic opportunity to build a lead in the group and increase the odds of advancing to the knockout stages.