30th September 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
It was rather fitting Argentinian youngster Lucas Boye joined Torino. After all, his nickname El Toro (The Bull) sees him share the same nickname as his new club.
Indeed, while this serves a great omen for both parties, it's remarkable to think that the all-action attacker actually came incredibly close to joining AS Roma prior to signing for the Maroons. Back in January, River Plate president, Rodolfo D'Onofrio, announced that Roma had agreed a deal in principle for Boye, and even took the bold step of divulging details of the deal. "Boye will go to Roma in June. We'll receive some bonuses based on the number of games he plays with the Giallorossi, plus River will get 50 per cent of any future sale," he said.
The Roma deal subsequently fell through, however, opening the door for Torino to pounce, which is exactly what they did. To make the deal even more impressive for Toino, Boye, who joined from River Plate following a strong season on loan with Newell's Old Boys, was acquired on a free transfer. Indeed, a great, opportunistic piece of business by the Granata.
After an encouraging start to life with his new club, which saw him make some promising showings predominantly off the bench, the 20-year-old forcefully sprung to life in his side's stirring 3-1 win over Roma. Full of intensity, aggression, physicality and technical quality, Boye unquestionably made Roma lament not securing his services back in January. He was so good, in fact, that he even made La Gazetta dello Sport's coveted team of the week.
In front of a strong home crowd at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Boye wreaked havoc throughout from his left wing post. His direct opponent, Alessandro Florenzi, endured a particularly tormentful afternoon, where he struggled immensely to cope with the strength of Boye. In 1v1 situations, this facet of Boye's game allowed him to overpower Florenzi with ease. This was especially evident whenever Boye was holding the ball up with his back to goal or engaging in aerial duels.
In addition, the way Sinisa Mihajlovic instructed his goalkeeper, Joe Hart, to aim for Boye from Toro's goal kicks served as a testament to his quality in the air. To counter this, Roma's burly centre-back, Kostas Manolas, would push over to help Florenzi in such situations, but Boye impressively still managed to win the majority of these battles as well. Boye, who's also nicknamed El Tanque (The Tank) lived up to this tag fittingly too, even pushing Manolas to the ground in one passage.
The San Gregorio native importantly didn't just shine in combative sequences, though, for he also showed off his explosive running power and technical proficiency on the attacking end. Using his array of nifty feints and subtle changes of pace and direction, he frequently got the better of Florenzi on the dribble too. In Torino's transition phases, once given time and space to run at the unset Roma defence, he was especially damaging. The fact the starlet completed five successful dribbles and was fouled four times depicts what a menacing proposition he was for Roma to deal with.
Moreover, Boye deserves credit for his decision making when in possession, as while many players after embarking on a fine solo run love to shoot and go for glory, he would selflessly always be on the look out for a teammate in a better position. This, in collaboration, with his excellent decision making saw him create an exceptional four clear cut chances for his colleagues.
All in all, there was a great deal to admire about Boye's performance, with his outstanding outing giving a strong indication of how well he's settling in and what a massive weapon he should be for Mihajlovic's men going forward.
His manager clearly envisions him being a key component for his side too. "He's a player of great potential. He has yet to learn the Italian language, but he's got great room for improvement and can become an important player for us," he explained.
Judging on the robust dynamo's positive start to life in Serie A, Roma's loss is definitely Torino's gain.
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Lucas Boye Moves to Torino - Deal of the Summer?
30th September 2016. By Edward Stratmann.