Italian star linked with Arsenal loan in January jeered by home support

Sebastian Giovinco

Sebastian Giovinco didn’t receive a warm sending off from some Juventus supporters on Sunday afternoon, but both coach and agent have rushed to his aid.

The diminutive forward’s tenure with the club of his youth hasn’t exactly gone smoothly since returning from Parma in the summer of 2012 - where he initially proved his Serie A credentials.

He first joined the Ducali on loan in August 2010 - the side seeing fit to take up the option to purchase half of his rights at the end of a productive first campaign in Emilia-Romagna.

And after scoring 15 top flight goals in his second and final season at the Stadio Tardini, the Old Lady stumped up €11m to take him back on a permanent basis, but that’s when troubles came about.

Giovinco faced criticism for not having the desired impact upon coming back to Turin, and the arrivals of Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez have only made matters more difficult for him - with just three league starts and one goal to his name this season.

Arsenal looked into snapping up the forgotten Bianconeri man in January - his agent revealing the Gunners requested information on him - but a desire to stay with Juventus and fight for his place ultimately kept the 27-year-old in northern Italy.

A rare start on Sunday only saw matters deteriorate for the ‘Atomic Ant’ however, as sections of fans deemed his 72 minutes of play unsatisfactory and whistled him off the pitch upon his substitution.

And coach Antonio Conte, who embraced his player as he reached the touchline as if to shield him from abuse, didn’t take kindly to the supporters’ expression of disenchantment.

“I’m not going to comment on it,” he told Mediaset Premium. “It is unheard of that you can whistle only a few players.

“I don’t understand why, I’m saddened by the situation and don’t want to talk about it.

“I hugged Sebastian, though I also would with others like [Federico] Peluso and [Carlos] Tevez.

“Woe to he who touches my players.”

Agent Claudio Pasqualin also weighed in on the situation, praising Conte for his gesture and chastising those who showed displeasure towards Giovinco.

“The whistles came from a small group, it’s always the same,” he said to TuttoMercatoWeb.

“Conte is a professional who protects his players, undoubtedly it is a commendable, praiseworthy thing.

“What matters is Conte’s estimation of Sebastian, not the small group of fans who booed him.”

image: © tpower1978

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