Could Ciro Immobile have done any more to convince Cesare Prandelli of a place at the World Cup? George Rinaldi doesn’t think so.
Ciro Immobile is arguably having the best season of his career to date. Following a poor 2012-13 at Genoa, where he only managed to score five goals in 21 starts, the summer move to Torino has returned him to the type of performances he showed at Pescara two years prior and has him currently in prime position to make it on to the plane to Brazil.
Immobile’s success has in part been due to a great partnership at the Olimpico with attacking playmaker Alessio Cerci, another also in contention to make Cesare Prandelli’s World Cup cut. The two together have created and scored 35 of the 47 goals scored by Torino - excluding assisting one another - to account for more than three-quarters of their team’s goals.
The 24-year-old player co-owned with Juventus, has alone scored 18 goals in Serie A this season, with six rounds still remaining to be played. With a majority of those efforts coming from open play, Immobile has also shown variety in front of goal. His recent hat-trick against Livorno, for example, consisted of a header, a volley and a long-range strike. Another facet to his game this term has been his accuracy, with a 20 per cent chance conversion rate proving statistically to be one of the best in Serie A.
Immobile’s form has already caught Prandelli’s attention - more than once this term the CT has been in the stands to see the forward play and more importantly score, and he has since been handed a first call-up and debut from the bench against Spain in early March.
However, that was his first taste at senior level, which may count against the Naples native in consideration to the other names he is up against for a place in Prandelli’s team. Pertinently, the likes of Mario Balotelli and Alberto Gilardino have also proven over more than just the one Serie A season their prolificacy in front of goal - Immobile has not.
On the whole, though, Immobile has done all he can to be considered by Prandelli for his World Cup squad. Sitting pretty as the joint top goalscorer in Serie A for a mid-table team is an impressive feat, much like the performances of Luca Toni at Hellas Verona. Will Prandelli go for name alone or take a gamble on bringing Ciro to his first major tournament?