‘Suarez and Lautaro could play together’ – Inter star can ‘easily adapt to Barcelona’, says Argentina Olympic coach

A man who has witnessed the Nerazzurri talisman’s talents up close is certain he would thrive in La Liga after proving his quality in Serie A

Lautaro Martinez and Luis Suarez “could play together without problems”, according to Fernando Batista, who thinks the Inter star would “easily adapt to Barcelona” if he completes a move to Camp Nou this summer.

Argentina international Lautaro has emerged as one of the brightest young prospects in European football at San Siro this season.

The 22-year-old has hit 16 goals in 31 outings across all competitions for Inter, while striking up a strong partnership with Romelu Lukaku, who joined the club from Manchester United last summer.

Lautaro’s performances have attracted attention from a number of high-profile potential suitors, including Barcelona, with Goal able to confirm that the Spanish champions see the Argentine striker as Suarez’s long-term successor at Camp Nou.

However, Batista believes the two men are more than capable of working together in tandem, despite the fact that Barca traditionally play a 4-3-3 formation with only one centre-forward – a system which current head coach Quique Setien has honoured since replacing Ernesto Valverde in January.

“It would be a great concern for rival defenders. Then, of course, there is the idea of ​​the coach,” Argentina’s Olympic coach told Mundo Deportivo.

“If you want to play 4-3-3, there would be room only for one of the two. But with those two beasts up top, he would have a great advantage. This would also give [Lionel] Messi, who now drops a little further back, more options to pass. I would not hesitate: I would play with Suárez and Lautaro together.

“Those who play well and are smart can do it. So Suarez and Lautaro could play together without problems. An example is found today at Inter. Lautaro coexists with Lukaku without problems. 

“They have similar characteristics and both stand out. When one goes through the middle, the other goes out to the side. They do not overlap.”

Batista went on to express his belief that Lautaro would have no trouble making the transition from Italy to Spain, having earned his stripes against the meanest defences in Serie A.

“It will cost him less effort to establish himself in Spanish football than in Italian football,” said the 49-year-old coach. “The defences in Italy are more aggressive, they don’t let you score as much, they do not give up as much space. 

“The Spanish defender gives you two or three seconds of advantage. In Italy, you have to be a very good striker to do what Lautaro has done.

“Cristiano Ronaldo does not score goals at Juventus as easily as at Real Madrid. It is because they mark players differently. A striker like Lautaro can easily adapt to Barcelona and also to Real Madrid.”

Batista also feels Lautaro is on course to follow in the footsteps of Argentina legend Gabriel Batistuta, as he added: “Lautaro is on a path very similar to that of Batistuta. 

“In having your head up, in speed, in heading, in physical power, they are very similar. Lautaro has many things similar to Bati, but he is more technical. With the ball, he is better.”