Spalletti wants more from returning Icardi despite goal in Inter romp

Icardi Perisic Genoa Inter
Getty Images
The forward got a goal and an assist against Genoa, but his manager is keen to see the forward be more involved in the run of play

Luciano Spalletti praised Mauro Icardi's performance as he made a scoring return for Inter, but he still wants more from the forward.

Icardi had not played since February 9, having been stripped of his captaincy as wife and agent Wanda Nara attempted to negotiate a new contract, but the Argentina international was back in the Nerazzurri side at Genoa.

And the striker scored one and created another, also drawing a red card from Cristian Romero, as Inter ran out 4-0 winners.

That result took Spalletti's men four points clear of fourth-placed rivals AC Milan in Serie A and the coach was more concerned by the team's overall display than by Icardi, who he still expects improvement from.

"My thoughts concern the whole team and a great, mature performance," Spalletti told DAZN .

"Players like Mauro always get the goal and assists, but it is up to the team to manage the game. He has to be more involved and link more with the whole team. The team puts him in the position to score.

"If the work is done by nine players rather than 10, less is done. But Mauro played a good game. He played with great personality and he could have scored another goal as well [when he hit the post]."

Despite a big win on a night Roma and Lazio both dropped points, Spalletti is not getting carried away in the bid for Champions League qualification.

"We are third in the table but there are so many teams fighting for the Champions League," he added. "What we have to do, as always, is fight to the end.

Article continues below

"Everyone is at the same level at the moment. Nobody has qualified. Nobody has done enough."

Inter sit third in the Serie A table, eight points clear of fifth-placed Atalanta and four in front of rivals Milan, who take on league leaders Juventus on Saturday.  

Inter and Atalanta face off in what could prove to be a crucial match in the race for a Champions League place on Sunday.