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Jun 2, 2014

Immobile gives BVB options

Ciro Immobile in action for Italy against Republic of Ireland last month.

Now Ciro Immobile has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Borussia Dortmund, the move represents another step in sorting the squad ready for next season. The Black and Yellows have splashed out 19.5 million euros, plus bonuses, for Serie A's top-scorer and it is a blessing to agree terms before the World Cup, as the striker's value could have rocketed even further during the tournament.

With the Colombian striker Adrian Ramos joining as well, Borussia Dortmund have now spent around 30 million euros in order to fill the void left by Robert Lewandowski.

Immobile is Dortmund's biggest summer-signing. Most expectations will rest on him, as the comparisons with the Italian and Lewandowski will be drawn -- just like Henrikh Mkhitaryan was compared to Mario Goetze -- but there are not many similarities between the two attackers. Immobile is not the tank that can pin down any ball from any given angle as Lewandowski does so well.

It will force Dortmund to play fewer long passes -- something they relied on quite often. Nor is Immobile as strong in his passing, assisting or creating chances yet. His finishing, though, will excite the supporters ahead of the new season.

Dortmund are seasoned professionals at missing chances. A prolific scorer will feel like a candy shop voucher to anyone affiliated with BVB. And the sweetness continues, as Immobilie can finish well with either foot and head from all sorts of angles and ranges, which will keep defenders guessing.

It may very well be the haircut, but Immobile is much closer to Marco Reus than to Lewandowski. It's not only the pace, but the movement. Just like Reus, Immobile tries to turn towards goal every time he receives the ball.

It will only enhance the side's directness and makes Juergen Klopp's counter attacking style even more radical -- keeping in mind that the coach has options to alter the style.

The only question is whether Immobile can adapt to Borussia Dortmund's style. At Torino, his workload was slim compared to what will be required at Dortmund. Once the defensive work-rate and the straining exercise of pressing comes along, the level of focus in front of goal suffers and the conversion rate suffers with it.

This is not a law of physics, but simply an observation I've made over the years with players arriving at Dortmund. The overall class around him on the pitch should help, though. Ultimately, he is just the right transfer for BVB. He is young, quick, has good technique and lots of potential for Klopp to nurture into big star.

The five-year contract will ensure that he has got enough time to do just that.

Exciting times lie ahead. How will Klopp integrate him into the team? Will he play with one or two strikers in the future? Immobile or Ramos  -- which one will play more often? There is a range of possibilities and that has whet the appetite already.