Arsenal’s next three Premier League fixtures will tell us a lot as to whether they are worthy of a European place or if it’s a bridge too far for Mikel Arteta’s charges this season.
Ciro Immobile has been a prolific striker for the past three years but is always left out of the conversation when it comes to the best in Europe.
The 30-year-old Italian striker has found himself being tossed around Europe throughout his career, spending time at Genoa, Torino, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and now back in his homeland playing for Lazio.
Immobile had struggled in the seasons leading up to his big-money move to Lazio in July 2017, with only 47 goals in all competitions with four clubs in a four-year span. Some 28 of those goals were from his 2013-14 season with Torino.
Lazio signed Immobile as a write-off after two dreadful seasons with Dortmund and Sevilla. Maybe it’s something to do with playing in his home country, but whenever Immobile is in Italy, the flood gates open.
The centre forward has been unreal with Lazio, bagging a phenomenal 116 goals and 33 assists in only 167 games. Immobile and Lazio are one point behind Juventus this season in Serie A, who have won the last eight straight titles. Immobile currently has the most goals this season in the Serie A, with 27 goals from 26 games.
This is where Immobile being left out of the conversation about best scorers in world really hits. He is the highest scorer in all of Europe this season. He is eight above Lionel Messi, six above Cristiano Ronaldo, nine above Kylian Mbappe. It’s just crazy.
Is he disrespected because of his lacklustre seasons in Germany and Spain, or is it the lack of flare the media and fans desire in this day and age?
Immobile is the true definition of a striker. Give him a scoring opportunity, and he’ll get the job done. Left foot, right foot, head… he’s putting it in the back of the net, and usually a couple of times a game.
With Lazio pretty much guaranteed Champions League football next season, maybe – at the age of 30 – his goal-scoring abilities will finally be appreciated and put on display in Europe’s best competition.
But for now, let’s just sit back and watch him keep putting away chances and giving defences a nightmare.