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Klose hard to replace, says Lazio’s Immobile

New Lazio striker Ciro Immobile admits he could struggle to fill the boots of former Biancocelesti hitman Miroslav Klose.

Immobile, who was the Serie A top scorer in 2013-14, joined Lazio for 8m euros ($8.9m) from Sevilla in a deal he hopes will help relaunch his career after stop-start spells in Germany and Spain.

Klose scored his 64th and final goal for Lazio in a 4-2 defeat to Fiorentina on the final day of last season.

But Immobile, 26, failed in previous attempts to fill the boots of Robert Lewandowski and Carlos Bacca at Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla respectively.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Immobile said at his official unveiling on Monday.

“I hope to do better than when they told me the same thing in reference to Lewandowski and Bacca. Klose left his mark here, he is a great player, I hope to do well at such an important club.”

Despite scoring four goals for Borussia Dortmund in six Champions League matches, Immobile failed to settle at the Bundesliga club and joined Sevilla on a season-long loan deal in July 2015.

Sevilla bought Immobile outright last November, only for the La Liga side to loan him to former club Torino in January until the end of last season.

It was with Torino that Immobile was Serie A top scorer with 22 goals and he admitted the few months spent back in Turin earlier this year helped him “to get back playing again”.

The Italian now hopes the fresh start at Lazio will boost his chances of winning a place in the Italy squad, after the appointment of his former Torino boss Giampiero Ventura as national head coach.

“This year it’s time for me to relaunch my career. I hope as much for me as for Lazio,” added Immobile.

“The national team is important to me. Now that I’m back in Italy Ventura will be able to see me up close, even though he knows me already, but I’ll have to give it everything.”

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