Sebastian Giovinco Has Arrived and Juventus Must Take Full Advantage of It
Everything seems to be in slow motion and the results are better than ever before.
This is the case with Juventus' pint-sized prodigy Sebastian Giovinco, who is finally getting a chance to play and show why he is regarded as not only the future of Juventus, but also one of the best Italian prospects in quite some time.
His performance in 30-plus minutes against Chelsea in the Champions League was great, but his showing against Bologna this past Saturday was even better.
Giovinco was everywhere on the turf of the Stadio Olimpico. In a rare start, he made the most of it, spinning in crosses, flying down the left wing, slipping past defenders with the utmost of ease—even a sliced shot off the outside of his foot went in.
That's just the kind of night that he was having. It was his best showing in the Juve shirt and it certainly won't be the last.
With this kind of showing becoming more and more regular as Giovinco settles into his position on the left wing, there's no reason why Giovinco shouldn't be playing more than he was in the first half of the season.
But will Ranieri actually do it? That's the million-dollar question.
With Pavel Nedved out for the immediate future and the other alternative, fellow youth product Paolo De Ceglie also out injured, its Giovinco's job for now.
That's the problem, though. It's just while Nedved is out injured.
It's no secret that Ranieri prefers Nedved. That's evident by the Tinkerman running the 36-year-old Czech winger out there practically every week regardless of how fatigued he is.
All the talk this season is whether the Bianconeri will have enough creativity to generate any kind of offense to compete with Inter for the Scudetto.
Another youth academy product, Claudio Marchisio, has brought something new to the center of the midfield, but when Giovinco and Marchisio play on the left together, as they did against Bologna, it's evident that Juve are a different team.
Giovinco is proving that he can be the cornerstone of the squad that so many believe he can be no matter whether he plays as a trequartista, support striker, or left winger.
Against Chelsea, it seemed as though he played all three.
With Nedved announcing his retirement a few weeks ago, the rumors started flying of who will be the one to fill the incredibly large gap on Juve's left wing. Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, Valencia's David Silva, and the always rumored to Turin Diego Ribas of Werder Bremen have all been names that have been thrown out there in the weeks following Nedved's announcement.
Yet everybody seems to be forgetting about little Giovinco.
With almost three-quarters of the season played, it's time for Ranieri to take the training wheels off Giovinco and let the kid learn how to play on the field instead of from the bench.
If Ranieri does start Giovinco more often than not as the season comes to a close, and he continues to play like he has the past two weeks, there will be no need to sign a big-money left winger.
Combine Giovinco with De Ceglie and that will make talented and young tandem on the left.
Juve sporting director Alessio Secco has said on numerous occasions that since their return to Serie A, they want to built from within and give their talented youngsters a chance to play.
So then why not have Giovinco be the man on the left wing with De Ceglie as his understudy?
Not only would it allow the two youngsters to continue to flourish, but it would also allow Secco to spend the cash he would use on a replacement for Nedved somewhere else.
Juve are challenging for the Scudetto just two years removed from being in Italy's second division, but if they want to overtake Inter Milan at the top they will have to be smart not only with tactics, but also with the checkbook.
The first step in the process would be to play Giovinco every week. A Turin native who just happens to be incredibly young and gifted?
Not much more you could ask for.
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