Reports began to swirl this morning of the possibility of Sebastian Giovinco's ties with Juventus FC being severed prematurely in order for him to join TFC for pre-season training, rather than waiting until the summer transfer window as previously thought.
TSN has confirmed the initial reports out of Italy, courtesy of Gianluca Di Marzio, declaring that the clubs are in the process of finalizing a deal that would allow the newly-penned designated player to start the MLS campaign in the Red of Toronto.
#TSN has confirmed the @DiMarzio report. @Wheelertsn says Sebastian Giovinco is leaving Juventus to join @torontofc for start of @MLS season— Luke Wileman (@LukeWileman) January 30, 2015
Though fans will have to wait for the official confirmation for further details – such as any possible transfer fee borne of the process – that the new star midfielder could be available from the start of the season is no doubt good news.
TFC will begin the 2015 season with a gruelling stretch of seven-straight away matches as construction wraps up on the renovated East Stand before finally making their home debut on May 10 against the Houston Dynamo. To have all their prominent pieces – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Giovinco, Damien Perquis, Benoit Cheyrou, et al. – in place as the club attempts to come together in that trying time, can only bode well for the unity that an evolving lineup requires.
While the signing of Giovinco may well herald the dawn of a new age in MLS, where European stars no longer only look across the pond at the end of their illustrious careers, it must be remembered that foreign imports often need time to adjust to the pace and style of MLS; a concern more marked for Giovinco given his diminutive stature and limited experience beyond the Italian game – not to mention that like Bradley and Defoe last season, he will be seeing his playing calendar transition, extending beyond a full year with the MLS regular season stretching into October and the Italian season having begun at the close of August.
Midseason debutantes often struggle more than most, regularly forced to wait until their sophomore campaign to find their footing in a league know for its athleticism and physicality. But with Giovinco set to endure preseason and be in situ for the start of the campaign, that time when he can flourish in his new league moves ever closer.