Ciro Immobile’s rise to prominence has been very impressive especially since he’s only 24-years-old. The Italian international now has a new challenge of replacing Robert Lewandowski, who left for Bayern Munich, and he looks to be up to surpassing what the Polish striker has accomplished for Borussia Dortmund.
Immobile is from Torre Annunziata, which is a city in Naples, and he began his soccer career playing in Sorrento’s youth academy. Former Juventus player and manager Ciro Ferrara recommended him to join the Italian giants and Immobile did in in 2008. Like most youngsters, Immobile was sent out on loan to get first team experience and after briefs stints at Italian clubs A.C. Siena and U.S. Grosseto, the two-time Torneo di Viareggio champion displayed his full capabilities at Pescara. During the 2011-12 season, the striker scored 28 goals in 37 league appearances for the Delfini as they won Serie B and gained promotion. In the process, Immobile won Serie B’s Player of the Year and Genoa also purchased 50 percent of his rights for €4 million. The next season, he played for Genoa but was a disappointment as he only scored five goals for them in 33 appearances in Serie A and the club moved him to Torino.
Last year was his true breakout campaign when he won the Capocannoniere for leading Serie A in scoring with 22 goals, sixth highest overall in Europe, in 33 appearances for Il Toro. The 6’1 poacher is an aggressive player who sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him and he’s susceptible to being offside too many times. His partnership with winger and second striker Alessio Cerci created plenty of opportunities for their team’s attack and Immobile scored 20 of his 22 goals inside the 18-yard box.
Even after his success, Juventus didn’t want to bring back their former academy player and allowed him to go to Dortmund for reportedly for €19 million.
“He is a powerhouse who can play in several positions and he played a big role in many team goals and played in the continuously intense Italian football. He can, will and must still improve in many areas and we want to help him. He is a real warrior. I used that correctly. He has chosen us over many other clubs and he is thrilled to join Borussia Dortmund,” said manager Jurgen Klopp on the team’s official website after the transfer was completed.
Immobile knows the link to Lewandowski won’t go away especially since the 25-year-old went to hated rival and two-time reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich but he hasn’t been afraid to look forward to the endless comparisons that will go on throughout their debut seasons for their new respective clubs.
“Lewandowski is past, I am the future. Lewandowski is a great player. I’ll try to do my best. Then we will see if I can score more or less goals than him, said Immobile at his first Dortmund press conference.
It will take time for Immobile to blossom as this will be his first time playing outside of Italy plus he has to learn how to play in Klopp’s rigorous and demanding system in which he will have to be a dominating presence in attack, be able to press and do intense defensive work. If Klopp’s resume shows us anything, it states he will get the best out of Immobile and will have Dortmund fans be happy to have the Italian at their club.