MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 15: Mauro Icardi (C) of FC Internazionale celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Udinese at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 15, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images )

Matteo Politano admits Inter Milan needs Mauro Icardi ahead of the club’s crucial games starting with the Milan derby.

The Argentine has failed to play for the Nerazzurri for the past one month after losing the captain’s armband to Hanandovic.

And Politano admitted they need him on the pitch for the remainder of the Serie A and Europa League campaign.

“It’s normal to miss Icardi,” he said in a quote cited on Football Italia.

“For six months he was crucial for us. Now we hope he returns soon. He has a knee problem and he’ll decide when to come back.

“He’ll be at San Siro like always. For us, it’s an honour to have him at the stadium, even if we prefer to have him on the pitch.”

Fellow striker Lautaro is set to miss the club’s Europa League tie against Frankfurt on Thursday, with the game locked on 0-0 after the first leg in Germany.

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“Lautaro’s similar to Icardi. They’re both strong in the penalty area and they make everything easier for us.

“Tactically everything has stayed the same. We have so many matches coming up, we have to prepare for them one at a time.

“The first one is on Thursday, then there’s the derby.”