Here Sarah Fitzpatrick takes a look at the prospects of reported Liverpool target Ciro Immobile.
The Daily Telegraph reported this week that Liverpool have already begun a rebuilding plan at Anfield by tying down Henderson on a £100,000-a-week contract and their next phase will be sorting out their off-form strike-force.
This plan to sort out their striking options will include selling Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli for the right offer, while they will prioritise signing one or two strikers to join Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi next season.
They have been heavily linked with Danny Ings since January while rumours that they have a new target in Ciro Immobile have spread quickly on social media in the last 24 hours, but what exactly do we know about the Borussia Dortmund striker.
Sky Italia have reported that Liverpool have contacted Dortmund about the availability of Ciro Immobile, as their journalist Gianluca Di Marzio Tweeted on Tuesday evening that,
“Liverpool have concrete interest in signing Ciro Immobile and have contacted Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc about it.”
This led to mixed reactions from Liverpool fans on Twitter, as some were excited of the prospect of replacing Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli while other fans would prefer if Liverpool targeted a higher quality striker to partner Daniel Sturridge up front. Let’s take a look at Immobile and analyse whether he would be a good target for Liverpool or if he would be just another Italian flop at Anfield.
Immobile began his career progressing through the ranks at Sorrento before scoring 30 goals in the 2007/08 season, which led to him being signed by Juventus for €80,000. He went straight into Juventus’ under-20 side where he was part of the team that won two consecutive Torneo di Viareggio titles in 2009 and 2010.
The striker also managed to make his first team debut during this time as he replaced Juventus legend Del Piero as an 89th substitute in a 4-1 win over Bologna on the 14th of March 2009. The Italian went on to have brief loan spells at Serie B sides Siena and Grosseto, which didn’t work out.
However, he had a successful loan spell at Pescara, where he scored an impressive 28 goals in 37 games. Immobilie’s goals where a huge reason to why Pescara went on to win a Serie B title and gained promotion in 2012.
On the 1st of July 2012, Genoa signed Immobile and he scored his first Serie A goal in a 2-0 win over Cagliari on the 26th of August 2012, the striker then went on to score against Juventus, Napoli and Sampdoria.
Although he only managed five league goals in the 2012/13 season, as Genoa finished 17th and just about avoided relegation, this led to the striker being sold to Torino on the 12th of July 2013, and the Italian rediscovered his form by scoring 22 goals in 33 games, including a spell of form where he managed 12 goals in 15 games.
On the 22nd of March 2014, Immobile scored his first Serie A hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Livorno. Immobile moved to Borussia Dortmund on the 2nd of June 2014 and featured in their 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup tie.
The striker managed to score in their Champions League tie against Arsenal on the 16th of September 2014 and went on to score four goals in five Champions League ties but only scored three in 19 league appearances this season.
Immobile has stuck away ten goals in all competitions this season for Borussia Dortmund (four in the Champions League, three in the Bundesliga & three in the DFB Pokal) and made only one assist all season.
The striker has made an average of 2.2 shots per game and has a successful passing rate of 67.6%. The reason for his low statistics this season may be that he has only made 25 appearances in all competitions at his new club while Dortmund have not had the most impressive season in 2014/15.
The striker needs a good run of games to show his abilities and this is shown when you compare this season’s statistics to his form last season. The striker made over 30 appearances last season and managed to score 22 league goals and create three assists. The striker’s shots per game ratio was 3.1 and he had a successful passing rate of 71.6%. Although, this might show the difference in quality between the Bundesliga and the Serie A in recent times.
Immobile has been heavily-linked with Liverpool this week and it is rumoured that Brendan Rodgers wants Immobile, along with Danny Ings to join Sturridge and Origi at Anfield next season. Although, the Reds should only sign one of either Immobile or Ings, the Burnley striker seems to be the cheaper and more reliable option, as he has already proven himself in the Premier League.
Immobile has the ability to be a good player but is not the finished product and is too inconsistent. Liverpool need to sign a top quality striker that can partner Sturridge up front but also cover the England striker if, or when, he picks up an injury.
Liverpool have struggled up top this season because they don’t have a good enough striker to play instead of Sturridge. The Reds should be doing everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen again next season.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena