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Why didn’t a Premier League side move for Mauro Icardi in the summer?

The Argentine striker is in the form of his life after a match-winning hat-trick for Inter in the Milan derby

The Premier League is blessed with arguably it’s strongest set of strikers since the days when Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres were hitting their prime.

Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Morata are all among the top 10 strikers in the world, with Alexandre Lacazette not far behind.


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Toby Alderweireld earns less than half of star names such as Harry Kane

Reuters
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Kane leads the goalscoring stakes in the Premier League

But one prolific hitman was criminally overlooked by the top Premier League clubs this summer.

Mauro Icardi.

Yes, the man who almost inexplicably can’t get a game for his country is in the form of his life for Inter Milan right now.

Icardi copied Messi’s iconic celebration after scoring the winner in the 3-2 victory over Milan

AP:Associated Press
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Icardi copied Messi’s iconic celebration after scoring the winner in the 3-2 victory over Milan

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Icardi’s sensational hat-trick earned Inter the bragging rights in the Milan derby on Sunday night, including a nerve-jangling last gasp winning penalty.

That took his tally to nine in eight Serie A games this season and Inter to within two points off the so far faultless Napoli.

Icardi signed a new five-year contract in Milan almost a year ago to the day, but when has that stopped big names flirting with other clubs almost straight away in the past?

The Argentina coach says Icardi has “physical problems” that will keep him from the starting XI

Rex Features
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The Argentina coach says Icardi has “physical problems” that will keep him from the starting XI

Luis Suarez signed a new Liverpool deal in December 2013 only to move to Barcelona six months later, whilst Philippe Coutinho tried to follow suit last season.

But Icardi was never really considered by any of the Premier League’s top six.

Chelsea wanted to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge before settling for Morata after the Belgian opted for Manchester United instead.

Chelsea star Alvaro Morata is facing six weeks on the sidelines

AFP
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Chelsea opted for Morata and he’s made a brilliant start to life in England

Arsenal moved for Lacazette, Manchester City already boast Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero and Spurs, well, have Kane.

But what for Liverpool?

Jurgen Klopp’s tactical approach sees Roberto Firmino – not a traditional forward but an extremely effective one – leading the line with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on either wing.

Firmino is Klopp’s teacher’s pet at Anfield

EPA
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Firmino is Klopp’s teacher’s pet at Anfield

While the Reds are sometimes relentless going forward they’ve been guilty of spurning so many big, match-winning chances this season and it’s a major reason why they’ve won just one of their last eight games.

Enter Icardi.

He is essentially Diego Costa 2.0; a striker whose response to being provoked or the situation intensifying is scoring goals. And lots of them.

Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick as Inter Milan beat AC 3-2

AP:Associated Press
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Icardi has scored nine goals in eight Serie A games this season

At 23, Icardi should still have his best years ahead of him too – a scary thought for the defenders he’ll face.

But amongst all the furore about Lukaku, Morata and Lacazette this summer his name was barely mentioned.

Last season he notched 24 goals in 34 Serie A appearances, the same as Gonzalo Higuain and considerably more than Paulo Dybala.

Icardi outscored Dybala and notched the same as Higuain last season

EPA
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Icardi outscored Dybala and notched the same as Higuain last season

Italy can boast a similar calibre of strikers too when you add Dries Mertens, Ciro Immobile, Edin Dzeko and Andrea Belotti to that list but Icardi has that little bit more about him.

He’s already captaining his club at 23 despite an onging dispute with Inter ultras, proving a mental strength that belittles his age.

That mentality coupled with his robust style of plan seems tailor made for the Premier League too.

Mauro Icardi has pledged allegiance to Inter Milan

AP:Associated Press
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Icardi and Inter ultras have clashed in the past

Inter were understandably reluctant to lose their prised asset this summer but, as we saw with Lukaku and Lacazette, every player has their price.

If this purple patch continues, Icardi’s valuation will only go in one direction though.

So have the Premier League’s elite now missed their chance?


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