He's started the season in impressive style but can Marco Borriello really win a place in the Italy squad? His representative is in no doubt.
Marco Borriello may have failed to score a single goal in six months at West Ham but his agent has insisted that he is currently Italy’s finest centre-forward, Football Italia report him telling Tuttomercatoweb.
The former Roma, Milan and Juventus striker arrived at Upton Park on loan alongside compatriot Antonio Nocerino in January 2014 but failed to make any sort of an impression in the Premier League, making just two substitute appearances under Sam Allardyce (below).
However, while memories of Borriello in claret and blue are fleeting at best, the veteran striker has built a much more substantial reputation in his homeland, enjoying one of the most prolific spells of his long career at newly promoted Cagliari.
The 34-year-old netted a superb double in a 3-0 win against Bologna last month, comprising of an inspired near-post flick and thunderous free-kick, before coming off the bench to help the Sardinian side stun Inter 2-1 at the San Siro on Sunday.
And, according to the players’ agent, his impressive form at the start of the season has eclipsed that of Italy’s current first-choice centre-forwards; Graziano Pelle, Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti (below).
“Marco is a champion,” Andrea D’Amico is quoted by Football Italia as saying.
“He has intuition, technical ability, tactical skill and the ability to read the game. Right now he’s the best Italian striker, he changed the game at San Siro.
“The national team? He’ll work to be ready. At the World Cup [in 2018], we need the best players for the national team, and right now that’s Marco.
“Despite his 34 years, biologically he’s ten years younger. He’s a serious professional.”
Like Antonio Di Natale and Luca Toni (below) before him, Borriello has improved with age in the familiar surrounds of Serie A.
However, with Italy coach Giampiero Ventura looking to the future with the likes of Belotti and Immobile, a first international call up since 2011 appears unlikely.