Sebastian Giovinco’s return to the fold this year following two successful seasons at Parma provided a welcome addition to the ranks of youth sector graduates (Claudio Marchisio, Paolo De Ceglie and Luca Marrone) already featuring in Antonio Conte’s side.
After achieving many successes with the club at youth level, it did not take Giovinco long to claim his first major silverware with the senior side as he played a part in the Italian Super Cup victory against Napoli in Beijing.
The 26-year-old has copped some criticism throughout the campaign for his overall goals tally of 11 (seven in the league, two each in the Coppa Italia and Champions League). However, a closer look at his statistics reveals that his contribution to the team in the final third goes far and beyond finding the back of the net.
These somewhat hidden additions to the Bianconeri’s attacking capabilities have made Giovinco a regular on Conte’s teamsheet. Indeed, his 42 appearances make him the most utilised forward in the squad (along with Mirko Vucinic) and fifth most frequent name in the line-up, behind Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.
The Azzurri international’s goals to minutes played ratio of one every 279 minutes puts him in fifth place, behind Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella, Vucinic and Arturo Vidal. However, his most impressive number is the 69 attempts on goal at 47.8%, second only to his Montenegrin strike partner.
Goalscorers often steal the headlines, which means the providers can sometimes fall by the wayside. However, Giovinco’s six assists this season should not be underestimated as he sits on level pegging with Kwadwo Asamoah and Vucinic, just behind classy midfield duo Pirlo and Vidal.
Sebastian also boasts a highly impressive passing accuracy of 73.3% from his 591 attempts, especially when considering that he is usually deployed deep in enemy territory, an area densely populated by opposition defenders. In fact, 183 of these passes were played inside the penalty box, just one shy of Vucinic and almost 100 more than third placed Vidal’s 84.
Furthermore, one of his greatest gifts is the ability to stretch the play by utilising the flanks, which has allowed him to whip in a total of 84 crosses, a figure only surpassed by specialist wide man Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Giovinco is also nimble and quick on his feet, skills which have confounded opposition defenders and forced them to concede 61 fouls on him throughout the season. The resulting free-kicks and penalties have also provided an additional avenue for Juventus to find the back of the net. Indeed, the diminutive frontman himself is the undisputed deputy set piece taker in Pirlo’s absence.
The numbers don’t lie, and these clearly show that Giovinco had a crucial role to play in the club’s 31st Scudetto triumph, with goalscoring just one of the many strings to his bow.