Forgotten Again: Sebastian Giovinco Is Wasting Away On Juventus' Bench

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IFebruary 9, 2010

It’s easy to lose small things in a crowd. It’s easy for the shortest one in a group of giants to seemingly go unnoticed no matter what is happening around them.

That shouldn’t be the case with Sebastian Giovinco.

Small in stature yet blessed with incredible talent, Giovinco is the latest jewel to come out of the Juventus youth academy. He is the first name out of the mouth of many people when they talk about the next generation of Italian talent coming through the ranks that is ready to breakout.

Almost two years have gone by since he returned to Turin after a season on loan at Empoli. That was supposed to be the first step on Giovinco's road to stardom.

However, it hasn't gone as planned.

Three coaches have manned the sidelines since Giovinco came back from his loan spell in Tuscany, And with those three coaches at the helm, they have all failed to give Giovinco the chance to show what kind of player he can be with consistent playing time.

When Claudio Ranieri was shown his pink slip last May, one of the biggest complaints was how he kept a firm stance on easing Giovinco into the squad. Ranieri's felt like his way of keeping Giovinco on the bench for the better part of the season and running Pavel Nedved into the ground was the right move—even though he was in the strict minority.

That was supposed to change under Ciro Ferrara, who, despite the arrival of summer signing Diego, said he was going to work in everybody so the squad would stay fresh throughout the season. The fear amongst many people was that Giovinco would get the short end of the stick because of Diego's arrival and expected role in the squad.

They haven't been proven wrong yet.

Giovinco's chances to play under Ferrara were few and far between. He has started all of seven games this season—five in Serie A and two in the group stages of the Champions League. In the eight games he has come on as a sub, five of those have seen him step on to the field with less than 15 minutes to go.

When Alberto Zaccheroni took over for Ferrara two weeks ago, there was even more outcry for Giovinco to finally get his chance to play. Even though he was just coming back from injury, the system the 56-year-old Zaccheroni would employ was completely uncertain.

There was a certain thing, though. In all likelihood, it wouldn't involve Giovinco.

No matter what system Zaccheroni will end up going with for the rest of the season, there is little hope that Giovinco will play any kind of significant minutes. And if the new Juve manager continues to go with the squad he has selected since he took over two weeks ago, Giovinco looks to be, once again, on the outside looking in.

Not exactly what you call giving a kid a fair chance to prove what he can do.

But this is what we've seen happen the past two years. Juventus, especially this season, need some kind of spark to try and rejuvenate what has become their worst in recent memory. Everybody but the man deciding who starts knows Giovinco can bring that spark.

If he wants to leave, it will be completely understood as to why he's making that kind of choice. He loves Juventus with all his heart and nobody can deny that, but when it comes down to it, there’s only so much a player can take before he decides it’s time to move.

At age 23 and a chance of being part of Italy’s World Cup squad all but gone, Giovinco’s career stands at a crossroads. Does he stay with the club he grew up watching and eventually playing for or does he be selfish for once in his life and think about himself?

It should have never come to this.

The worst part is, as this saddening saga continues to go on, you can't help but wonder how good he could be right now if he was playing regularly.