Speculation has linked Sebastian Giovinco with a move to Tigres UANL in exchange for Enner Valencia and cash, but how likely are Toronto FC to actually trade their superstar?
Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in Toronto FC history. In fact, he’s arguably the best player in MLS history.
Regardless, are TFC about to do the unthinkable and willingly part company with their superstar? If nothing else they’ve considered the possibility, at least according to new speculation.
As reported by Dylan Butler of mlssoccer.com, the Reds have examined a potential trade which would send Giovinco to Tigres UANL. In return, TFC would get Enner Valencia.
The news was first reported by Mexican newspaper La Aficion. Any move would also involve Tigres sending cash to Toronto.
The question is, would Toronto FC actually pull the trigger on such a move? Especially when Giovinco himself has expressed his desire to sign a new contract and remain in Southern Ontario?
Once regarded as a laughing stock, TFC are now considered one of the model franchises in MLS. And the Atomic Ant is one of the main reasons why.
Since arriving in Toronto, Giovinco has been sensational, with a list of individual accomplishments headlined by being named MLS MVP following the 2015 season. From a team perspective, he has helped them qualify for two consecutive MLS Cup finals and win their inaugural championship last season.
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So again, you have to wonder why the Reds would consider parting company with the Italian? In fairness, if you look at the matter objectively, it actually makes sense, at least on some level.
At age 31, Giovinco isn’t getting any younger and you have to consider there will be a drop in production sooner than later. In fact, since his record-breaking 2015 campaign, his goal and assist numbers have decreased in consecutive years, albeit in part because of less playing time.
However, even the playing time could be used as a justification for trading away the three-time MLS All-Star. With injuries impacting how many games he has featured in, this also alludes to his advancing age.
As a counter point, there is something to be said for loyalty. And Giovinco is off to a good start in 2018 with two goals and four assists in seven MLS games, along with another four goals during their run to the CCL final.
However, Toronto FC may well wish to cash in on their valuable asset, while they can still get a high quality return. Which is where Valencia comes in.
TFC are familiar with the 28-year-old, from his appearance in the first leg of their CCL quarter final against Tigres. As such, the Reds have had the opportunity to see him up close.
However, even without that type of exposure to Valencia, there is a lot to like about him. He has high quality experience at club level, including periods in the English Premier League with Everton and West Ham United.
There is also the matter of playing for the Ecuador national team, which includes invaluable experience participating in the World Cup. In total, the forward has 21 goals in 41 appearances at the international level.
One other factor to consider is the 28-year-old’s age. At three years younger than Giovinco, he at least theoretically will be effective for a longer period of time.
Overall, it seems unlikely that such a trade will actually come to fruition. In fact, one line of thinking is that Giovinco and/or his agent might be behind this speculation, in order to speed up the negotiation process over a contract extension.
However, if Toronto FC and Tigres were to agree to a deal, it would certainly be one of the more fascinating transfers in recent memory. It will be interesting to see how this storyline plays out in the coming weeks and months.
Do you put any credence in this speculation surrounding Giovinco? Do you really see Toronto FC trading him to Tigres, in exchange for Valencia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.