Just over 12 months on, it’s happening again.
Last January Toronto FC made a huge announcement as they signed Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe and announced it as the now infamous “bloody big deal”… but that didn’t quite work out as the Canadian club failed to make the MLS playoffs once again.
[ RELATED: Altidore-Defoe swap complete ]
Well, after signing Italian international Sebastian Giovinco as a Designated Player on Monday, following on from Jozy Altidore’s arrival last week, this could be a “bloody bigger deal!”
Giovinco, 27, will arrive from reigning Italian champions Juventus following the conclusion of the current Serie A season. The man they call the “Atomic Ant” in his homeland will link up with Greg Vanney’s squad after signing a reported five-year contract with Toronto for over $7 million per year, according to the Toronto Sun. If true, Giovinco would surpass Kaka’s salary at Orlando City of $6.6 million which is currently the highest in MLS history.
This signing does not only add a player of supreme quality to MLS, but also signifies that the league is becoming increasingly capable of prying players away from Europe during their prime.
“I am excited to sign with Toronto FC today and look forward to joining the club this summer,” Giovinco said. “I have heard so many great things about Toronto over the years and I know that it will be a city that I feel right at home in. Until then, I have many things I still want to accomplish for Juventus and our fans. I will always give my heart and soul for Juve until I change shirts this summer.”
The Juventus academy product, who has had spells at Parma and Empoli during his career, has spent the last six seasons with Juve’s first team playing in 130 games on his way to scoring 20 goals and adding 23 assists for La Vecchia Signora. He also scored 23 goals in 70 goals for Parma during a two-year loan spell from 2010-12 and will arrive in MLS with his best years ahead of him. Giovinco has won two-straight Serie A titles with the Turin club and has scored one goal in 21 appearances for the Italian national side.
At just 5 feet 5 inches tall, the diminutive attacker has been added to create chances for Altidore and seamlessly link midfield and attack together at BMO Field. Toronto FC’s General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko has certainly had a big week after the arrival of U.S. international striker Altidore to Ontario, and he believes the capture of Giovinco will be just as significant.
“Today marks a very special day for Toronto FC with the addition of Sebastian Giovinco,” Bezbatchenko said. “Seba is in the prime of his career and he has chosen to join Toronto FC and MLS at a time when many of the top clubs in the world were pursuing him. We are very pleased to bring a fantastic player to Toronto FC for our club and for our fans, especially those in the Italian community.”
Can the “Atomic Ant”, Bradley and Altidore lead Toronto to the MLS postseason for the first time in club history in 2015? After all this spending, they will have a “bloody good go” at it.