Mancini: Faith in Immobile, but…
Italy CT Roberto Mancini insists ‘Ciro Immobile has my confidence’ but admits there could be a ‘problem’ if he does not start replicating his Lazio form.
Immobile has been among Europe’s most prolific strikers since joining Lazio in 2016 but has scored just seven goals for Italy, despite representing them at two major tournaments.
“Insigne has quality and works hard defensively, although he’s less effective if he has to drop back,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.
“I can make the most of him, playing him as a forward. That’s why Ancelotti is playing him there. He’s very dangerous near the box.
“Immobile has my confidence, otherwise I wouldn’t have called him. I’ve always called him up, except when he was injured.
“He scores a lot for Lazio and if he does that for the national team, he’ll have no problems. That also applies to Belotti and all the others. We want to be spoiled for choice.
“Of the front three, it’s clear that Insigne is currently scoring the most. Chiesa’s still a young lad who isn’t among the goals yet.
“Bernardeschi can play up top, but he has a different style of play. He’s very quick and technical.
“If Belotti, Immobile, Balotelli, Zaza and other young players can score then we’re happy. We need strikers who score. Take Icardi: you know he’ll score when he’s in the box.
“Chiesa doesn’t shoot like his father! Still, he’s devastating in one-on-ones. He almost always gets away.
“He must improve on other things like crossing and passing, but potentially he has lots of goals in his legs.
“Sometimes what he does doesn’t come off, but he’ll grow with experience. Let’s not forget that he’s only 21 and he could still play for the Under 21s, like Donnarumma, Barella and Pellegrini.
“We all hope Balotelli can get back on track. At the age of 28, he’s still young and he has plenty of qualities.
“It depends on him. We gave him a chance and we’ll give him another, but he’ll have to play well. If he doesn’t then it becomes a problem.”
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