UEFA Euro 2020

Italy need more from Ciro Immobile in Euro 2020 final

Max Parsons
Ciro Immobile has not performed for his side since the group stage
Ciro Immobile has not performed for his side since the group stage / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Italy have looked genuinely fantastic since the first ball was kicked at Euro 2020.

Their 3-0 win over Turkey on the opening day of the tournament, followed by another 3-0 victory over Switzerland on matchday two were very clear statements: Italy are bloody good, and are here to win.

Throughout the tournament, Roberto Mancini's side have been a stunning unit that boast stoic defensive solidity, masterful creators and match-dictators, and a frightening threat from wide areas.

The Italian team celebrate making their way to the Euro 2020 final / MATT DUNHAM/Getty Images

However, since the group stage, there has been one thing lacking in the Azzurri's game.

Ciro Immobile got his Euro 2020 journey off to the perfect start, notching two goals and an assist in his side's two opening games. But since that haul and being handed a rest in Italy's matchday three encounter with Wales, the Lazio striker has simply not performed - and given a reason for Italians to worry.

In their 2-1 extra time victory over Austria in the round of 16, Immobile was largely wasteful and totally ineffective. In the end, goals from stand out winger Federico Chiesa and midfielder Matteo Pessina sent the Azzurri through to the last eight.

In that quarter-final game, Italy put in a dominant display to overcome Belgium 2-1 - although Immobile, once more, went missing. The game passed him by completely, he looked well off the pace, and was never likely to make the slightest impact.

Oh, and he gave us all a massive laugh (apart from Alan Shearer) with an embarrassing bit of diving.

Against Spain in the semi-final, things didn't improve. Immobile wasn't quite as lifeless - or sly - as he was against Belgium, but he was nonetheless still absent in his side's eventual 4-2 win on penalties.

Immobile simply hasn't been the focal point that his side require since his blistering start to the tournament.

And, while Andrea Belotti has come off the bench and done alright, there's no doubt that Mancini looks to Immobile for goals - the Lazio front man's 20 Serie A strikes compared to Belotti's 13 during the 2020/21 campaign is evidence enough.

Aymeric Laporte, Ciro Immobile
Ciro Immobile battles with Aymeric Laporte / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Immobile is Italy's main man when it comes to leading the line, and he simply has to step his game up for Sunday night's grand final - especially considering the Azzurri are facing an England side that have conceded just once throughout the competition.

Mikkel Damsgaard's stunning free kick was the first strike to make its way past Jordan Pickford between the sticks, only confirming that it really does take something special to get through the English backline.

The partnership of Harry Maguire and John Stones at the heart of defence has looked solid so far this summer, while Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw either side of them have been largely perfect in their roles.

Italy won't get too many opportunities to score goals against the Three Lions.

Therefore Immobile will have to be sharp, alert, and on top form to trouble his opposition at Wembley. The 31-year-old will need to recapture his knack for getting in behind and the clinical streak that has made him such a goal machine in recent times to really test England.

Harry Maguire, John Stones
England's centre backs have been brilliant at Euro 2020 / Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images

Mancini's side have managed to find bits of quality from other areas of the field to make their way through to the Euro 2020 final, but they will need an on-song forward to break down the tournament's strongest defence.

Italy undeniably have the quality to blow any opposition away but, to taste glory on Sunday, they simply need more from Immobile.