Ciro Immobile is a Juventus youth product who has blossomed this season playing for the Serie B side Pescara. It’s hard to find a better club for a young attacking player than one managed by a certain Zdenek Zeman as Immobile has enjoyed himself in the ultra-attacking Pescara side and is currently getting hotter with every week.
He has racked up 17 Serie B goals in 22 games and only 2 of them have been penalties. It’s not just his goal count that deserves the attention, but also the way he plays and how he scores.
You would expect Juve to have him in future plans, but some reason (financial?) they recently sold 50% of his contract to Genoa for 4 million euros, a deal that I believe has only two winners in a long run – Immobile himself and Genoa. Genoa is bound to get their investment back by 2-3 times and Immobile can adapt to Serie A football from next season without very big pressure.
Report on Ciro Immobile
Name: Ciro Immobile
Date of Birth: 20.02.1990 (age 21)
Height: 184 cm
Current Club: Pescara (on loan, co-owned by Juventus and Genoa, contract length unknown)
National Team: Played in Italian U20 and U21 teams
Position: Striker / Forward
Preferred Foot: Right
Statistics For Last 3 Seasons:
2011/2012: Pescara – 22 games, 17 goals, 4 assists, 4 yellow cards, 1738 minutes played
2010/2011: Siena / Grosseto – 22 games, 3 goals, 1 red card, 1209 minutes played
2009/2010: Juventus – 4 games, 39 minutes played
Games Watched To Make The Report:
1. Pescara – Hellas Verona 3:1 (Serie B, 16.01.2012)
2. Pescara – Modena 3:1 (Serie B, 27.01.2012)
3. Crotone – Pescara 1:2 (Serie B, 31.01.2012)
Individual Game Descriptions:
1. Pescara – Hellas Verona 3:1
Immobile started as the striker in a 4-3-3 formation and the game was open as usual for Pescara. They dominated and created far more chances.
They ended up winning the game 3:1 and Immobile scored the last two Verona goals. First one was good left foot finish from a low cross and second one he showed great speed to get to a Lorenzo Insigne through ball during a counter attack and finished it off with right foot.
2. Pescara – Modena 3:1
Similar game to the one against Hellas Verona in terms of almost everything. 3:1 win, Immobile plays full 90 minutes as striker and Pescara dominate.
This time he only scored one goal however, a header as he was at the end of a cross from the left.
3. Crotone – Pescara 1:2
Immobile started and played full 90 minutes again, but this game was bit more difficult for Pescara.
The game was quite balanced with Pescara probably creating a bit more, but also leaking a lot in defence.
Immobile finished with another goal as he had to bounce to put in a ball that had dropped in the area. Also hit the bar with a long-range right-footed shot.
Analysis of Immobile:
When I started watching Pescara, I had seen them and Immobile play once, against Torino in a game which ended with Torino’s 4:2 win. Immobile scored twice in that game and I was sort of expecting to see more of a poacher in him than an all-around striker when watching him with intent of writing a report. And to be very honest, I was more interested in his Napoli-owned team-mate Lorenzo Insigne.
However with Immobile I got surprise after surprise and he left a bigger impression on me with every game, enough for me to be bit puzzled at how Juventus view him when seeing them give 50% of his ownership away.
Almost complete striker
If I’d say he reminded me of anyone, there is a bit of Diego Milito about him. He showed great versatility and great work ethic. And he is almost the complete opposite of what his surname means in English…
As you could read from the individual game descriptions, he showed to be a very multi-functional striker. He scored with either feet, showed to have ability in air, strength and good speed as well as a decent long-range shot.
His finishing has come a long way under Zeman and most of his shots either are on target or only slightly wide.
His goals and chances seem to have no connection to luck and are all down to the work rate he has. He tries very hard to get into good positions, fighting for his space in the box and moving, turning sharply. In Serie B he is too good for defenders to handle.
Although his primary job is to score goals and create havoc in the penalty area, he also deserves praise for his all-around play. He does very well to link-up with everyone around him, he is very involved in the game, often coming deep to offer one-two passes to midfielders. He is also not afraid to move away from central position when necessary.
Shortcomings could show in Serie A
However one has to take into account that he is doing all this in Serie B and certain things might not be so easy against better defenders of Serie A.
It’s hardly important, but his dribbling ability is not great. He does have one or two successful dribbles in a game, but most of the times when he tries, he fails and loses the ball. His dribbling looks more like forcing his way through a player or two rather than elegantly leaving them for dead.
But as I say, it is not important for him. As long as he can beat defenders for pace for the through balls, win the duels in air, link-up with midfield and finish with precision, he is fine.
It’s his passing passing that could draw criticism in Serie A level. He’ll have to improve in that area of the game as he makes too many bad passes and most of the successful one’s are very simple and would be very hard to mess up. He should be quicker when passing, more precise and maybe learn to do to do more difficult passes which require vision.
Technical part is probably the only part which comes between him and the better strikers of Serie A – his passing, first touch, dribbling is not too impressive. But with his finishing ability I’d still fancy him being capable of scoring around 15 Serie A goals in a full season at his current level.
Would also like to add about his physical attributes that his speed is good enough to beat most defenders, but a level below players like Samuel Eto’o, Alexis Sanchez or Alexandre Pato.
What level do I think he is:
As I mentioned, I think he is capable of playing in Serie A level and scoring 15 goals a season. He could easily start for one of the stronger Serie A mid-table teams, much like Genoa who bought half of his contract.
He is probably the best young Italian striker at the moment behind a certain Mario Balotelli and ahead of the likes of Fabio Borini and Mattia Destro.
What level do I think he could reach:
There is potentnial in him to be a 30 goal per season player. I think he could and will probably end up in a big team of Italy within 2 or 3 years (probably back to Juventus).
He is bit different from the other young strikers of Italy, far more versatile. Once he improves at his technical side and gains the experience against better defenders, Italy could finally have a young goalscorer who could be considered amongst the best in the world at that role, something which they have been lacking for a long-long time.
If I had to pay 10 million euros rating: N/A
I was close to putting in a 6/10 for it, but decided to give him a talent rating instead as he hasn’t really played at the higher level. I would say he is worth around 10 mil right now, as shown by Genoa paying 4 million for half of his contract.
Talent rating: 9/10
One of the better young strikers I’ve seen in last years, a bit of a refreshment too as most of the shine-out young players seem to be dribblers and small wide forwards lately. There are rough edges he needs to remove from his game, but from what I see on the pitch, he has his head screwed on right and he’ll work hard to improve.