The arrival of 16-year-old Moise Kean onto the scene will not have surprised many Juventus fans who have keenly — see what I did there? — followed his progress through the youth ranks. However, after becoming the first player to be born this century to play in both the Serie A and the Champions League this week, many around the world are now sitting up and paying attention to the young forward.
Kean is yet to sign his first professional contract, and while he is at Juventus currently, there are plenty of suitors lining up at his door with paperwork in hand. The player is represented by ‘super-agent’ Mino Raiola who was recently involved in the transfer of Paul Pogba out of Turin.
His older brother recently spoke to the Gazzetta dello Sport about the teenage prodigy, and assured Bianconeri that he would be staying at Juve. Twenty-three-year-old Giovanni Kean plays for FBC Finale 1908 in Italy’s Serie D, and also said that his younger brother started out as a Milan fan.
"He will be at Juve and he will be a great No. 9 like Gonzalo Higuain.
"Juve fans can rest assured -- Raiola does not want to take him away. In fact, if he had wanted to do that he already would have, maybe at the start when Juve didn't realise how good he really is and [Raiola] did.
"He then asked for a fair deal for him, which was found, and very soon he will put his name on a contract."
Giovanni went on to compare Moise to former Juventus players Thierry Henry and Carlos Tevez, though his favorite remains former Inter and AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
"He's a panther like Henry and he has the determination that reminds me of Tevez. That comes from his really ferocious desire to have the ball. If somebody else has it, he chases them to get it off them. In front of goal, on the other hand, he's like Mario Balotelli.
"Balotelli is his idol but I can assure you that on the field of play they are different. Moise sacrifices himself and he's very generous because that is the way Juve have taught him to be. They have turned him into a beast, forging his mind -- he's at the right club to burst onto the scene."
For now, they are keeping their expectations in check.
"History is full of talented players at 16 who disappeared when they were 18," he said. "That is why Moise knows he has not done anything yet. He needs to work with his usual intensity, seriousness and humbleness.
"If he behaves well, hopefully he can help fight racism and fear, convincing people to support him as he is 200 percent Italian.
"Moise has taken advantage of the absences [of Paulo Dybala and Marko Pjaca], but I don't know if he will stay in the first team. It will depend on his efforts, but don't judge him by his age. Ever since he was at the oratory, he has been used to playing with people older than him. In fact, he needs this to raise his own bar and be measured with the best around.
"Maybe he will drop back into the youth team, but he gets on well with the big ones. He has fun with Stefano Sturaro and loves Dybala and Pjaca."
His brother was seen in tears during his first appearance against Pescara last weekend, and went on to talk about the difficult childhood he and his brother had endured.
"For now, yes, I started after the first goal. Indeed, it was the day before he took to the field. Against Pescara it was an incredible feeling: the dream of every child realised by my little brother.
"But they were tears of liberation after all we've been through.
"Moise has seen things that a child should never see. It was not an easy childhood. Our father left us and built a new family for himself. He was absent for years, calling maybe once every four months and not showing us any affection when we needed it.
"That's not how you do things. You can get separated, but your children are always your children and not toys. My mother's a nurse and she would jump through hoops to make sure we got everything we needed. Moise would be left alone in the afternoon and he would suffer, but football helped him. Ciccio Grabbi, the former Juve striker and youth Coach is his godfather. He has taken him on holiday with his family to escape a bit.
"There’s no question that our father wishes us well, but it's too easy to want to re-establish a relationship now only because his son is becoming a major player. And maybe it’s because he earns so much money.”
The two brothers remain very close to their mother who has sacrificed a lot for the boys.
"Our mother? She follows Moise everywhere, her interest in his education is so severe. It shows in the way her son has the respect of everyone, from a warehouse worker up to the Coach.
"These teachings, combined with the difficulties of childhood, made him did grow: he is a child, but inside he has a lot more than 16 years."
On how young Moise would follow Giovanni around -
"He would come with me to the oratory. He was tiny and he'd just kick the ball against a wall, with his left and his right foot. Sometimes I would give in and let him play with us. He was a little devil who always wanted the ball.
"Yes, exactly -- he always wants the ball. He's got a physical need for it which is even stronger now. Two weeks ago, when people already knew who he was, he came home and went to the same oratory and kicked the ball against the wall, left and right foot, like he always used to."
That hunger is just one side of him though, Giovanni says.
"He’s cheerful, sunny and from an early age he had a fixation, he put music videos on and he began to dance.
"He likes hip hop and rap. When he gets back here in Asti, we go with friends to the streets and he’s away with the music.
"As a child he loved the somersaults of [Obafemi] Martins at Inter. Then our uncle, who is a huge AC Milan, gave him a bit of allegiance to the Rossoneri. But obviously, now there is only Juve."
Juventus fans will be hoping that Kean becomes a permanent fixture in the Bianconeri side for years to come.