Sevilla have agreed to a one year loan for Ciro Immobile with Borussia Dortmund, the Italian striker was officially presented to the media and fans by the Spanish club.
Immobile underwent mandatory medical checks and was officially unveiled as a Sevilla player for the upcoming season. He was looking for a fresh start after his disappointing season with Borussia Dortmund.
“I am very happy, Sevilla is an important club. I spoke with [Sevilla director] Monchi, he said here it is like a family and for me it is very important to be a part of it after a disappointing season. Thanks to the president [Jose Castro] and Monchi, they helped me to come here, it is something I really wanted. It will be an important year and it will be nice to play in Champions League and discover la Liga. I don’t want to predict the number of goals I will score, last year I scored four in Champions League, hope to do even better.”
Sevilla finished 5th in la Liga standings, but will participate in the Champions League as the reigning Europa League champions. The 25 year-old Immobile will be counted on to fill the void left by Carlos Bacca, who was sold to Milan. Sevilla will hope he regains his form of two years ago, when he scored 22 goals for Torino, and forget about his goal scoring troubles with Borussia Dortmund last year.
Wouldn’t it have been better if he came back to Italy instead?
If prior history is any indication, for the most part Italian players playing abroad seem to have a difficult time getting used to their new environment. There are Italian players who excel abroad but there are more that struggle. It is not easy to get used to a new country, club, language, lifestyle, etc. It is also not easy to get used to a team’s new tactics and style of play of a new league. Some players have no problems with integration while others have more difficulty.
There is no guarantee a return to Italy would have rejuvenated Immobile. We can use his ex-Torino teammate Alessio Cerci as an example. He was sold to Atletico Madrid last summer, and then loaned to Milan in January and continued his poor play.
Is this the right move for Immobile?
Despite his struggles, Immobile played on a competitive Borussia Dortmund side and got a taste of Champions League. With Sevilla he will get to do the same thing and there is hope he can do better based on what he learned last year.
He is entering the prime age for his career and he should be motivated to perform well, not only to redeem himself but also ensure he remains on Antonio Conte’s radar for a spot on the Azzurrri roster for next year’s Euro.
It won’t be easy to fill in Bacca’s shoes, but there is no reason Immobile can’t be the go-to guy, seeing that after Bacca’s 20 goals, the other scorers on Sevilla scored 8 goals or less. However he has the full confidence of his new coach Unai Emery, who feels Immobile is the right candidate to replace Bacca.