Sebastian Giovinco has received a hero’s welcome after arriving in Toronto to begin his MLS adventure.
Giovinco, 28, announced his impending move to Toronto FC last month, with the MLS club pulling off a major coup in beating off reported interest from the likes of Arsenal, Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur, per the likes of TalkSport.
Having entered the final six months of his Juventus contract, the original plan was for the Italian forward to join the Canadian club at the end of the Serie A season but, after negotiations between the two sides, he will now be in the line-up for the March kick-off.
"Having Sebastian join us in time for training camp is incredibly important for our team and our plans this year,” general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the club’s official website.
“Sebastian is a world-class player who makes all of his teammates better and his arrival is a monumental moment for Major League Soccer and Toronto.
“Because he was so driven to join his new team now, Seba and his agent took it upon themselves and went to great lengths to negotiate his release from Juventus.
“That speaks volumes about his commitment to this team, the leadership he brings, and the fact that he is fully behind our vision for the long term.”
Giovinco made 131 total appearances for Juventus following his first-team debut in September 2008, recording 20 goals and 23 assists, while winning back-to-back Serie A titles over the past two seasons.
Once hailed as a future star of the national team, the “atomic ant” had fallen out of favour with the Bianconeri this term, however, making just three starts in seven league appearances for a total of 191 minutes.
Nevertheless, few fans doubt his game-changing abilities, including those across the Atlantic, with Toronto supporters flocking to Pearson airport to greet their team’s new star acquisition.
With Jozy Altidore also arriving from Sunderland last month in a swap deal for Jermain Defoe, joining US teammate Michael Bradley and Giovinco at BMO Field, TFC would seem to have all the pieces in place to make a push not just for their first-ever post-season appearance, but also for an MLS Cup championship.