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Be Patient, Seba

The lack of playing time afforded to Sebastian Giovinco recently has lead to outcries among black-and-white tifosi. People have asked why Ranieri "hates" Giovinco, some have even suggested his exclusion is a political move to force him to sign a contract extension. The papers suggest Giovinco is requesting €1 million salary, a significant improvement over his current €50,000. We all know that in modern football, contracts are easily breakable, so Gio's agent should relax and sign the estimated €400,000 Secco is offering. If Giovinco has a great year, we'll probably renegotiate next summer just like we did with Sissoko and Chiellini.

Ranieri has spoken on Giovinco, and he's said exactly what I've been thinking. I was talking about this subject with Roberto and we both agreed that it's pretty ridiculous to be freaking out when we're only in the 3rd week of Serie A. When you consider De Ceglie and Marchisio's playing time has been born out of necessity, it makes Giovinco's case look a bit better. Ranieri said several times this summer he's not sure where Giovinco will play yet, but he plans initially at least left-wing as he played at Empoli. Our two super-wingers Camoranesi and Nedved have made defending an understated part of their game, and with Seba's frame I can't imagine him tracking back and putting in some challenges.

Finally, the Juventus fanbase and the media, has been pumping Giovinco up (much like we did Palladino, who I still think has enormous potential though most Juventini have given up on him) as the Messiah particularly after the Olympics, something which clearly concerns Ranieri. He wants to integrate Giovinco slowly and responsibly, not like throwing Criscito to the wolves. (literally, in this case)

The cameras flashed several times to Giovinco on Sunday, who was grinning and talking with the other players on the bench. Contrary to the media, I'm sure he's not "depressed" about the lack of playing time. I'm sure Giovinco, as a true bianconero, will not be angry if he gets little playing time in his first month or so back at one of the greatest clubs in the world. His agent has been making noise, agitating for a better contract and Ranieri wants to slowly integrate him. Combine the two, and you have these "Giovinco to Arsenal" and the "Giovinco is depressed" rumors. Here's Ranieri's words:

“His time will come slowly but surely - we shouldn't wait for him like a Messiah,” Ranieri asserted. "We have to see him as a lad who needs to be slowly integrated and we have to take a responsible approach. I have never said that he poses a tactical problem. He is just developing as a player - he always played in the centre and then he was on the left at Empoli. I brought him back to be a back-up to Pavel Nedved but that doesn't mean that he can't be used in attack. I have a lot of faith in him. He works hard and he has great quality but let's give him some time.”