The always improving Giovinco – is he good enough?

A baby Bianconero whose only desire was to succeed at his childhood club Juventus, fans were outraged when management let Sebastian Giovinco join Parma. Creative and quick, the boy who only measures 1.64m is blessed with technical intelligence. Since joining Parma, he has played an active role in keeping the team out of relegation and has since caught the eye of Azzurri Coach, Cesare Prandelli.
Whether it be his brilliant free-kick against Catania or the manner in which he danced around what appeared to be a lethargic and confused Inter midfield, Giovinco is certainly relishing the opportunity of being the star of the team, with several Spanish sides as well as Italian ones closely tracking him. Much of the player’s improvement this term is down to playing on the left of a 4-3-3 system – a formation he is familiar with during his time with Empoli and the Under-21 squad. An attacking winger, this shape allows Giovinco to indulge in his creative talent whilst simultaneously masking his defensive ineptitude.
With Parma regularly deploying a defensive style of play, the club have been able to take advantage of Giovinco’s pace to launch swift counter-attacks and, as seen against Inter, few have been able to keep up with the pint-sized star. However, with a focus on defensive play, few teammates have indulged Seba in link-up play, forcing him to go at it alone, often looking isolated as in the match against Milan in February. When deployed within a skilful midfield such as the one seen against Juventus, Giovinco’s abilities can clearly be seen. His movement increases and he makes the most of passes, such as the one from Francesco Valiani, aimed at picking him out, to produce a perfect finish.
Regularly criticised for his frail physique, Seba has worked hard to dispel the criticism aimed at him. In the Azzurri match against Ukraine, he held off a towering midfielder to provide a splendid back-heel that allowed Alessandro Matri to score. However, he has not improved enough. At Parma, Giovinco is dispossessed more than any other player in the squad, regularly falling victim to the physical strength of the opponent. Moreover, the player’s pass completion rate pales in comparison to his teammates, forcing him to squander several attacking opportunities that desperately needed that perfect final pass.
At Parma, Giovinco is blessed with having an entire team built around his talent – important for a player with an ego. It is worth noting that Seba’s best performances this season have been against the bigger clubs, since it gifts him the chance to prove a point. Whilst this aspect of his personality pushes him to perform, it may also hinder his chances of making it at a big club where his talent may be overlooked in the name of tactics. Whilst he often spoke out against Juventus for their apparent preference for foreign talent, it would have been wise to note that his skills were rendered incompatible with Juve’s playing style and despite his ever-growing talent, it is still unlikely he will ever be welcomed back to Turin. The Bianconeri know from experience what it is like to play with a defensively inept winger, such as Milos Krasic, which has forced the team to adapt the formation to balance out the side. Equally in Jorge Martinez, they have witnessed how difficult it is for a winger, better suited for a 4-3-3 formation, to adapt to a different method of play.
Giovinco is certainly a hot prospect for the future but he still has a long way to go before he can make the jump to a better team – a jump that will surely be made if he continues to improve.

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