Luciano Spalletti confirmed Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez are out of the Inter squad to face Lazio. “Some new things happened that I have to evaluate.”
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Icardi returned to training this week for the first time in six weeks, having been out since he was suddenly stripped of the captaincy on February 13.
This was officially due to a knee injury, but most believe it was his reaction to the decision and the reasons – which were never clarified – for the revocation of the captaincy in the first place.
With Lautaro Martinez injured, Icardi was expected to possibly even start, but he is surprisingly not even in the squad and the reasons are again unclear.
“In some ways, it was like having a new player, because he hadn’t been with us for such a long time,” said Spalletti in his Press conference.
“He trained with us and in some ways we need to get him back into our training regime behaviour. Considering what happened lately, including yesterday, I maintain he is not yet able to help his teammates in this game. That is why he will not be called up.
“I have to consider everything, from the previous period all the way up to yesterday. He trained with us all week, something new happened yesterday that I need to evaluate. Training sessions are fundamental. For the next few games, we’ll see.”
Keita Balde Diao is now the only real candidate to start upfront against his old club, although Matteo Politano and even defender Andrea Ranocchia are options.
“We are up against a direct rival for the top four and Lazio are once again having a very good season. Simone Inzaghi put everyone in precise roles, they have quality between the lines and if we don’t do well to break into their spaces, we could have problems.
“The three points this weekend could become particularly precious, as it is a head-to-head situation.”
Stefan de Vrij is also out injured, while Radja Nainggolan is making his way back from a long lay-off.
“Nainggolan has to train with the team and find the right tempo, but he has been doing that and he is called up. As for De Vrij, we have players like Joao Miranda and Andrea Ranocchia who can step in.”
Spalletti was asked if Inter were in the position he expected this season.
“I think so, yes. We might’ve gone through to the next round of the Champions League, or in other competitions, and some events were decisive in certain games, but overall I’d say that we’ve worked pretty well.”