As Lorenzo Insigne arrives, Toronto FC looks to get back on track

Lorenzo Insigne of Italy enters the pitch to warm up prior to the Italy Training Session at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Lorenzo Insigne of Italy enters the pitch to warm up prior to the Italy Training Session at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images) /

After a long wait, Lorenzo Insigne has finally landed in Canada but the real work for Toronto FC to move up the MLS standings continues.

Standing on a stage in front of a devoted crowd of Toronto FC supporters, Lorenzo Insigne is about to begin a new chapter in his career.

It was not an easy decision for the 31-year-old to leave Napoli, his hometown team and take on a new challenge in Toronto. To be fair, TFC’s front office did make sure to compensate Insigne by making him the highest-paid player in MLS.

While $15 million is quite a pretty penny to pay for a single player, the team understands the benefits both and off the field of bringing in Insigne. They also know that one player alone won’t get TFC back into a contending position.

"“To be very down to Earth about it, he’s another teammate. It’s great that we’re getting a reinforcement of his quality and I’m hoping that he and his family feels amazing (in Toronto) so he establishes himself here as fast as possible. But soccer is not basketball,” said Quentin Westberg via the Toronto Sun. “We’re 11. I’ve hardly ever seen one person lift everyone. It’s all about creating a more positive environment rather than expecting everything from one person. And then understanding that once we’re on the field there are 18-year-olds and there are 35-year-olds and there’s everything in between. It’s understanding that as great as a reinforcement he is, we can’t depend on a Superhero coming in (and doing everything) and we can’t put too much expectations on his shoulders. If we start waiting for him to move a mountain (by himself) then I think it’s bad on us. That would be one helluva short cut. You need to create a favourable environment for individuals to stand out. We can’t expect one player to trigger everything. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint.“One person alone, as good as he is, can have a very positive impact, don’t get me wrong,” Westberg added. “But you need to create an environment for success.”"

Now the club will wait to see what Insigne’s status is and when he can take the field. Some are expecting that the Italian could make his debut on July 9 at home against San Jose when the secondary transfer window opens.

Where he plays on the pitch will also be interesting as Insigne can be a secondary strike, at left-wing or midfield. It would probably make sense to expect Insigne to feature upfront.

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Toronto FC looking to add more reinforcements from Serie A

After months of reporting, it appears TFC is closing in on an agreement with defender Domenico Criscito.

There have been reports that former Juventus striking midfielder Federico Bernardeschi has been in contact with TFC although he has also been linked to Insigne’s former team Napoli. Torino striker Andrea Belotti has also been a name brought up as well but he is hoping to find a contract in Italy.

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It’s an exciting time for MLS with LAFC signing Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini who announced his retirement from the national team and his departure from Juventus. They also made another splash by reportedly bringing in Gareth Bale adding another star calibre name to a team atop the Supporters’ Shield Table.