In a surprising turn of events, Toronto FC and Sebastian Giovinco have agreed to part ways with the Italian striker set to be sold to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.
Ripping off a band-aid quickly is supposed to be less painful than taking it off slowly but when it comes to Sebastian Giovinco’s departure from Toronto FC, getting the news suddenly shouldn’t make it easier for fans.
The club confirmed Kristian Jacks report that the Italian striker is being sold to Al-Hilal FC despite recent reports suggesting both sides looking to work out a contract extension. Recently, Tip of the Tower colleague Paul Taylor explained why should clarify Giovinco’s future TFC and recently looked at president Bill Manning’s recent comments suggesting the team was looking to re-sign the former MVP.
Well, it appears the offer was not good enough leaving the team in a tough position; let Giovinco walk at the end of the season or try and get something by selling him. No player has had as much of an impact for TFC and for years, he was the best player in MLS.
"I’d like to thank the fans and my teammates for four special years playing for Toronto FC,” said Giovinco in a press release. “I’d also like to thank the club for helping me as I transition into the next phase of my career.”"
During his time with Toronto, Giovinco made 142 appearances scoring 83 goals and added 64 assists across all competitions and helped TFC get to a level the club has never been close to achieving since joining MLS. His impact was immediate winning the league MVP in his first season and was an All-Star in every season.
This sentiment was echoed by Manning which was posted on the team’s website.
"“This was an extremely emotional transaction for our club. We’d like to thank Seba for all he did for TFC during his time with the club. He gave our fans many thrilling moments during his four years, especially during our championship season in 2017,” said Manning. “He leaves Toronto as the greatest player in club history. We wish Seba and his family nothing but the best as he begins a new chapter.”"
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
So where did it all go wrong? It is no secret Giovinco was frustrated with the lack of progress with contract talks. He wanted to be the top paid player in the league and had the honour this past season making US$7.115 million. According to Sportsnet’s John Molinaro, Giovinco was looking for a similar deal.
While 2018 was a down year for the Turin native, there is no question he was still the best player on the roster and now the team will have to find a way to fill the void. Not only will this have an impact on the pitch but don’t be surprised if ticket sales are affected by this move.
There has been a lot of movement this off-season for TFC with Victor Vazquez being sold to Qatari club Al-Arabi, Gregory van der Wiel getting the boot after an altercation with coach Greg Vanney and defender Nick Hagglund being traded to FC Cincinnati.
This all comes after former GM Tim Bezbatchenko left to be the president in Columbus and being replaced with Ali Curtis who was the former Sporting Director of the New york Red Bulls.
Now it will be up to Curtis, Vanney and the rest of the organization to make up for the loss of a superstar which won’t be easy. This means Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley will have to pick up the slack in the meantime. Hopefully, this won’t set TFC back to the point to where they were before Giovinco arrived.
What do you think about TFC selling Giovinco? Can they overcome the loss and find a player to replace what he brought? Let us know in the comments below.