Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has admitted that he was “lucky” to work under current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp whilst at Borussia Dortmund.
Immobile says that playing for Klopp at Dortmund was an experience that he will never forget and has praised the emotional attitude he brings to his coaching.
The Italian forward scored 10 goals for Dortmund that season, but has gone on to become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. Last season, Immobile was the top scorer in the Serie A for the third time in his career with an incredible 36 goals – beating the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku to the award.
Speaking to Sport Bild, Immobile looked back on his time with the German boss. “Klopp leaves something behind for you. You don’t forget someone like him.
“I was lucky to be able to play under him. He’s a super emotional trainer. Someone for whom you fight for every ball.
“He demands that of you too, and you can see that in his behaviour on the sidelines.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Immobile still being so fond of Klopp and his coaching despite that season being one of his worst – in terms of goal scoring – in his career says a lot about the Liverpool gaffer. It shows that Klopp leaves a mark on players and really is interested in the long-term development of the people he coaches, rather than an instant impact.
The Italian’s success with Lazio years after leaving Dortmund could even have been influenced by Klopp, although that is hard to prove it is suggested by Immobile’s comments. Since joining Lazio in 2016, Immobile has scored 125 goals in 178 appearances, including 103 in 142 Serie A matches, earning himself a place amongst Europe’s best centre-forwards.
Liverpool have a number of fringe players with potential in their squad at the moment and Klopp can, hopefully, have a similar impact on their careers. The likes of Marko Grujic, Rhian Brewster and Takumi Minamino could be looking to emulate the success of Immobile after Klopp’s coaching, which could be a great boost for Liverpool in the future if they remain at the club.