Sebastian Giovinco’s move to MLS outfit Toronto FC certainly raised a few eyebrows last winter. The Italian international had been plying his trade at Serie A champions Juventus but decided to trade-in competing in one of Europe’s elite leagues as well as the Champions League for a life in the bourgeoning Major League Soccer. The MLS, perhaps fairly, has garnered a reputation as being like a ‘last ride on the gravy train’ for many ex-stars on the brink of retirement in recent times.
Some of the league’s biggest names now read like a who’s who of players who were a force to be reckoned with in the game about seven or eight years ago. Frank Lampard, David Villa, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo all now play in the North American competition but, at the age of just 27, many saw Giovinco’s move across the Atlantic in January of last year as particularly odd seeing as he still had many of his prime years left to give to the game.
Since the Italian joined Toronto and became the league’s highest paid player as a result, he has never once failed to justify the $7 million pay packet he commands. In his first season alone, he won the MLS player of the year award at a canter, scoring 22 goals in the process. This season, it’s much the same story as the striker arguably carries a side who are 14/1 with 32Red Canada and Bet Victor to win the MLS Cup this season.
Despite facing a lower calibre of opposition, Giovinco has still earned the plaudits of soccer fans worldwide and, as a result, made it into the Guardian’s ‘100 best footballers in the world‘ list back in December of 2015 thanks to his stand-out performances. There’s no doubt that many top European clubs were reeling when they failed to land the signature of Gio just 15 months ago and, with this summer’s transfer window on the horizon, there will undoubtedly be no shortage of suitors who will attempt to lure him back to his home continent once again for the 2016/2017 season.
Let’s take a look at two clubs who could possibly make a move for him in the summer.
Of course, a return to his native Italy looks to be the most likely of destinations for the Azzurri striker. Whilst he’d do well to force his way back into a Juve side that already accommodates the likes of Paul Dybala and Alvaro Morata up front, their west coast rivals, Napoli, may be in the market for a striker should they not be able to keep hold of Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine has been attracting Europe’s biggest names with his Serie A goalscoring exploits this season.
With the money they’d garner should the likes of Higuain and Insigne leave at the end of the season, the Blues could do worse than to spend a small portion of it on an experienced forward who knows the Italian top flight inside out.
Despite rapidly approaching his 30s, the skilful striker still possesses the physical attributes required to cut it at the highest level back in his native country.
2) Tottenham Hotspur
With Spurs on the brink of Champions League qualification and perhaps even Premier League glory this season, the North London club could massively benefit from acquiring a second striker who’d easily adapt to manager Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play.
Whilst Spurs number 9 Harry Kane has more than pulled up trees at White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s Argentine boss came under some criticism this season for failing to provide adequate cover for the striker, who is 5/1 with 32Red Canada to win this season’s PFA player of the year award.
With further investment in the squad now a necessity with Champions League football on the horizon, a player of Giovinco’s ilk could serve Spurs well next year as they will again venture to fight on multiple footballing fronts in a season that could stretch beyond 50 games.