Italy manager Roberto Mancini leapt to the defence of under-fire striker Ciro Immobile on Tuesday, saying the 31-year-old has what it takes to lead the Azzurri to glory at next year’s World Cup.

Less than two months have passed since Italy was crowned European Champion, but back-to-back World Cup qualifying draws against Bulgaria and Switzerland, with one goal scored, has dampened the mood.

READ | Italy sets new unbeaten run record with 0-0 draw against Switzerland

Immobile has failed to find the net in his last six Italy appearances, leading to calls for the attack to be refreshed for Wednesday’s clash with Lithuania in Reggio Emilia.

“We won the Euros with 26 players and Ciro always started. He scored in two games, other times he came close, or the ball would not go in,” Mancini told a news conference.

“Of course, I have to tell him to make certain movements, but I do not see a…

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