Arsenal Transfer News: Sebastian Giovinco Loan Provides Gunners' Ideal Stopgap

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2014

PARMA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 02:  Sebastian Giovinco of Juventus looks on during the Serie A match between Parma FC and Juventus at Stadio Ennio Tardini on November 2, 2013 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Having managed just two Serie A starts for Juventus this term, Sebastian Giovinco has found himself slipping in Antonio Conte's pecking order, but the Italian giant's loss could be Arsenal's gain.

Arsene Wenger's need for winter reinforcements has risen tremendously due to the season-ending knee injury suffered by Theo Walcott a week ago, per BBC Sport, with the Gunners already looking for backup to Olivier Giroud.

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 18:  Sebastian Giovinco of Juventus looks on during the Tim Cup match between Juventus and US Avellino at Juventus Arena on December 18, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

And North Londoners should be encouraged by the news that Arsenal have already made first contact with the Italian's representatives, according to the Metro's Jamie Sanderson.

Giovinco's agent Claudio Pasqualin is reported by Sanderson as saying: "We have had contact with Arsenal. It was a request for information about his situation. There was nothing more [at the moment]."

Given the 26-year-old's lack of playing time this term, the Premier League leaders will assuredly have been left encouraged by what was discussed.

The attacker is presumably as keen as any other international player to get first-team minutes in the build-up to this summer's World Cup, with Cesare Prandelli starting to form opinion over whom he's taking to Brazil.

That being said, Giovinco's shortcomings this term don't necessarily point to a subpar talent, but more the likes of Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente, Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla have taken more seniority among Conte's ranks.

As 101GreatGoals show, the forward is still capable of great things, albeit against lower opposition on this particular occasion:

The 2012-13 campaign was a far more fruitful one for the supporting striker, who made 23 league starts, scoring seven goals and making seven assists, per Transfermarkt.co.uk.

This was prior to the arrival of Tevez and Llorente, who would understandably give Conte a bigger concern in terms of proving themselves to be worthwhile summer acquisitions compared to the homegrown Giovinco.

Able to play either off the main striker—in this case Olivier Giroud—or out wide if necessary, the trickster is something of an inverted version of Walcott, but provides a lot of similar attributes.

That kind of versatility will be an attractive proposition for Wenger, particularly in the January window, where absences and injury will have given the boss a better idea of precisely which voids need filling.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on January 13, 2014 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Nicklas Bendtner's injury, alternatives to Giroud up front is another priority for the Gunners, although Giovinco could be something of a risk holding up the line by himself.

All things considered, the speedster's malleability around the forward line is an attraction that Arsenal should find tempting, with Giovinco holding the promise of a player with great talent who just hasn't been permitted to show it of late.