It's time to declare something that may not be the popular opinion: Ciro Immobile is one of Serie A's hottest striker going right now. He's not the best in the league, clearly, but he's been quite good over the past two months.
Just how good has the 23-year-old Juve youth product been?
This good: Seven goals in his last seven games kind of good. His eight in his last 10 games tally is almost as impressive as the first figure I've just thrown out there for everybody to read.
That kind of goal production is not something to just turn your head at and move onto the next stack of stats. Immobile has gone from having a solid first season at Torino to currently being the player who is behind Giuseppe Rossi and a certain Carlos Tevez in goals. And when you're mentioned in the same sentence to pre-injury-Rossi and Carlitos, you know you're doing something right.
It could be because of simple playing on a consistent basis and not in a situation like he was in with a Genoa team trying to avoid relegation. It could be because he's the doorstep of being 24 years and has learned to adapt to Serie A after last season's so-so stint at Genoa. It could be all of the above and some other reasons that aren't even mentioned.
Either way, Immobile can't stop bagging goals right now as he sees his name shooting up the Serie A scoring chart. That's something we truly do know as we enter the final 15 games of the 2013-14 campaign.
But what about next season? While we don't know what lies ahead, what should happen?
We know this: Immobile is co-owned by Juventus and their city rivals, Torino. And while you think that the rivalry might have put a complete end to any kind of negotiating the two clubs may do in the future, just look at what they did a summer ago — agree to Immobile's co-ownership and the €13 million deal for defender Angelo Ogbonna.
See? Things aren't that difficult between the two Turin clubs.
The thing is this, though, Immobile could very well be one of Juve's best bargaining chip when it comes to making potential deals over the upcoming summer. Like any good men in their front-office positions, Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici don't like to spend more than what they feel is the right amount of cash. And if that means potentially using Immobile as a way to bring the total asking price down a bit, then that could very well be the case.
With that said, Juventus will almost certainly be looking to replace a striker come next season. That's because it almost seems like a certainty at this point. Through extensive scientific research, I've come up with these odds on the likelihood of who will be on their way out of Turin this summer.
Fabio Quagliarella: Probably leaving this summer.
Mirko Vucinic: Possibly leaving this summer.
Sebastian Giovinco: Possibly leaving this summer, but is a favorite of Antonio Conte.
Scientific research at it's finest, you guys.
You would like to think that there is going to be at least one opening on next season's roster because somebody is leaving. Carlos Tevez isn't going anywhere. Same goes for Fernando Llorente. Obviously Dani Osvaldo's situation depends on how he does the next three or four months during his loan spell.
Where does Immobile fall into this equation? That's what we're all waiting to find out sooner rather than later. Maybe we could call Beppe and try to get an answer out of him. It's not January anymore, so maybe he's got some more free time on his hands these days.
Or maybe we could just ask Ciro himself about what he's thinking regarding this season or something else...
Immobile's form has seen speculation over his future beyond this season, but he remains focused only on the short-term.
"Well, there's no choice, I want a goal at the Bentegodi and another at the [Juventus] Stadium.
"And from July I will work to do well. With the help of my teammates I am finding myself in Serie A, but I do not have any personal goals."
(Source: Football Italia)
Well, that wasn't much help at all.
But I digress.
He might not have the pure skill as a Domenco Berardi or Manolo Gabbiadini, but the way Immobile is going, it's going to be hard to ignore what he's doing on the field. And if he keeps scoring more goals, it's going to be even that much more impossible to ignore what he's doing, right?
I'd like to think that's the truth.
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