Mauro Icardi has said it's too early to know if he'll return to Inter Milan following his loan spell at Paris Saint-Germain, but he backed Romelu Lukaku to succeed in Serie A.
Icardi was loaned to PSG for the season after Inter bought Lukaku from Manchester United for €80 million in the summer.
Amid some criticism of the Belgian's early form at the San Siro, Icardi told Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Goal's Robin Bairner): "It doesn't seem to me that he's experiencing a moment of difficulty. In fact, I think he's started well, scoring a couple of goals immediately."
The Argentinian said Lukaku is a "big investment" and under pressure to "live up to expectations" at the club, so an injury that kept him out of Inter's UEFA Champions League trip to Barcelona may have "raised the usual criticisms."
"It's not easy for anyone to play in Italy," he added. "Serie A is the most defensive championship in Europe. Maybe he needs a little more time to settle in, but he's already scored a lot of goals in his career. And he will do it again."
Lukaku scored three times in his first four Serie A matches. He failed to find the net in a 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague in the Champions League and is goalless in his last three league games, though, including a 2-1 defeat to Juventus.
ESPN FC's Andrew Cesare was critical of his performance against Juve, while SB Nation's Zito Madu observed a flaw in his game:
There aren't many goalscorers operating in European football more prolific than the 26-year-old, though.
The striker, who reached 51 international goals in his 83rd appearance for Belgium during the international break with a brace against San Marino, has netted a combined total of 187 goals for United, Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Anderlecht.
Although he struggled at times with United, with time to settle at Inter, he'll likely become a potent weapon.
If Lukaku succeeds, there will be even less scope for Icardi to make a successful return to the San Siro, and that already seems unlikely after he was sent to PSG having been told he wasn't part of manager Antonio Conte's plans.
"This year, I'm at PSG and my goal is to give my best for this shirt," Icardi said. "Then at the end of the season, around May or June, we'll see what happens. It's still too early to say anything."
Prior to his loan move, his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, said the striker still had hope of resurrecting his Inter career.
Icardi has settled in the French capital, though: "I feel good here."
The 26-year-old added that in Italy "a vicious circle had been created in certain journalistic circles where we always ended up talking a little too much about anything concerning me. This is not the case here in Paris."
Icardi has netted two goals for PSG in four appearances, most recently in a 4-0 win over Angers:
The Argentinian scored 124 goals in 219 games for Inter, and he's one of the most clinical finishers in world football, so he could thrive on the service he'll receive at PSG.
What's more, Edinson Cavani will be 33 and out of contract by the end of the season, so there's scope for Icardi to nail down a place in the team for years to come if the Uruguayan moves on.