Player to watch this season: Giaccherini at Sunderland
Of all the Premier League signings completed so far this summer, few have been as eye-catching as Emanuele Giaccherini’s move from Juventus to Sunderland.
For just £6.5m – or almost half of a Chris Samba if you prefer – Paolo Di Canio’s Mackems have snapped up a 14-times capped Italy international who was most recently seen scoring a fine goal against Brazil at the Confederations Cup.
At 28 years old, Giaccherini might not be around on Wearside for years to come, but the attacking midfielder will be seeking to continue a fine career which has blossomed late on.
Formerly in Serie B with Cesena, Giaccherini embarked on a number of loan moves in Italy’s lower divisions before helping the excellently-nicknamed Seahorses to promotion to the top league in 2010.
Just one season in Serie A was enough to catch the attention of the mighty Juventus, who initially purchased the nimble 5ft 6ins wide man in one of the complicated co-ownership deals which are commonplace in Italy.
Having established himself in Turin, Giaccherini was then drafted into Cesare Prandelli’s squad for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and the Ukraine, where he made his international debut starting at left wing-back in a group game against Spain.
He watched on from the bench as the Spanish destroyed the Italians 4-0 in the final in Kiev, but his move to north-east England promises to see him become a key man in Di Canio’s new-look side, who are 11/4 to finish in the top 10 and 15/8 to be the top north-east club.
Adam Johnson’s debut season on Wearside was hit-and-miss as Sunderland endured a forgettable 2012/13, whilst James McClean and Sebastian Larsson failed to hit the heights they enjoyed in the previous campaign.
Having made an immediate impact upon his appointment Di Canio will now be looking for prolonged success, and in Giaccherini he might just have found a player who’ll be a big contributor to that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication