Ciro Immobile reminded Serie A side Torino what they are missing with the opening goal during Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday evening.
The Italian, who signed on at the German side over the summer to replace Polish forward Robert Lewandowski, who joined Bayern Munich, finally broke the deadlock after heavy pressure with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubling the lead early in the second half.
It was Immobile’s first goal for his new side in his fourth appearance and with his former side struggling in his absence, has served to underline his growing pedigree in the game.
In his first and final season at Torino the 24-year-old won the Golden Boot with 22 goals in 33 games, narrowly pipping Carlos Tevez and Luca Toni of Juventus and Hellas Verona to the prize.
Prior to that he had been somewhat of an unknown, scoring 28 times in 37 appearances for Pescara in Serie B but managing just five in 34 appearances for Genoa who ultimately saw the player purchased by Juventus but shipped out to Torino.
His renaissance over in Turin soon saw him take Italy’s top flight by storm, and helped guide them to a seventh placed finish ahead of giants AC Milan and Lazio, who had disappointing seasons by comparison.
With Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina side-lined through injury, the 24-year-old was rewarded for his stellar season at club level with a place in Cesare Prandelli’s World Cup squad for the summer showpiece in Brazil, although played second fiddle to Mario Balotelli and was restricted to just two appearances from their three games.
When it was announced back in January that Dortmund icon Lewandowski would be jumping ship to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern, Immobile emerged as the man to carry the baton and help fill the void left by the 26-year-old.
He was signed in the summer for £16.5 million, and, despite having to wait until Arsenal came to town to open his account, has looked a capable replacement so far.
It is hoped that Marco Reus and the return of Shinji Kagawa can help him fire the bullets and help Jurgen Klopp’s side end Bayern’s stranglehold of the Bundesliga with a first league title since 2012.
Immobile now has his debut goal which could be used as a catalyst for bigger and better things over in Germany.
Serie A struggles
Torino are currently 17th in the table after a draw and loss from their opening two games.
They opened with a respectable 0-0 draw against giants Inter Milan, but were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Sampdoria at the weekend.
They are without a goal and sorely missing there talisman, with fellow superstar Alessio Cerci also missing after signing for Atletico Madrid with days of the transfer window remaining.
Only time will tell whether Immobile’s void proves impossible to fill, and whether they can survive the season or drop down to the second tier in his absence.