8th August 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
It's remarkable to think that roughly two weeks ago Sevilla's president, Jose Castro, had almost given up hope of signing Luciano Vietto. Although Castro remained optimistic, he felt the lure of Barcelona would be too hard for the Atletico Madrid attacker to resist. "I wish we could sign [Vietto], he is a magnificent player, but I fear it will not be possible," Castro told COPE's "El Partido de las 12" radio show.

"He is one of the options our sporting director Monchi is working on. But things are as they are. If Vietto likes Barcelona more, he should go to Barcelona. It is important that players are where they want to be, so they perform well."

When Barcelona superstar, Luis Suarez, publicly praised the 22-year-old and said he believed Vietto would be a great addition to their squad, Sevilla's chances appeared even slimer. "Vietto is a great player. I really liked him when he played at Villarreal," insisted the Uruguayan.

"He has not been getting a lot of opportunities at Atletico, but there is no doubt about his quality. He is a player who could add a lot."

But to their credit the Andalucian club never gave up and were duly rewarded for their patience and persistence, as they finally got their man. While there were suspicions that Atletico didn't want to sell him to major league rivals Barcelona, nonetheless, the capture of Vietto, on an initial season long loan worth €4 million, is still a superb piece of business by Sevilla. In addition, acquiring Vietto certainly goes some way to replacing star striker, Kevin Gameiro, who joined Atletico, which, in the end, left both clubs rather satisfied with their respective deals.

Vietto clearly took into account that his development may be hindered at Barcelona, for he would've known regular starts would've been hard to come by with the irreplaceable trio of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar ahead of him.

"I said yes to Sevilla because I'm a young player who needs to keep growing and Sevilla was my best option. The decision was mine," he said on upon arriving at Sevilla.

"I'm very happy with how I have been received. It's been a great pre-season and we go into the UEFA Super Cup in the best way. Jorge Sampaoli called me to come and he's a great Coach. His presence was a great influence for me to be here."

Having played under some very physically demanding and well regimented coaches in Diego Simeone, at Racing Club and then Atleti, and Marcelinho at Villarreal, Vietto should be a brilliant fit for Sampaoli's high octane, energy sapping philosophy. Moreover, the former Chile manager's preference for getting his teams to play a dynamic brand of attacking football should also suit him beautifully.

Judging from his exceptional debut in Los Nervionenses' friendly with Granada, it looks as though Vietto will settle in just fine. From his centre forward position, the Argentine ran the Granada defence ragged throughout, with his speed and masterful movement combining to see him have a profound impact on the contest.

Vietto's variations were key to his success. He'd drop deep to link play, pull wide to exploit the space created for him by Pablo Sarabia's (Sevilla's right winger) keeness to venture infield and operate on the shoulder of the centre-backs, waiting for an opportunity to run in behind.

Unquestionably the most successful method of attack for him was the latter. By using his innate ability to expertly time, angle and arc his runs in behind the Granada backline, in combination with his searing pace, the opposition just couldn't come to grips with the elusive forward. Vietto was forever buzzing across the opposition's defensive line just waiting for his opportunity to burst out the back and Granada had no answers to stop his expertise in this regard.

To make matters worse for Paco Jemez's boys, Sevilla were always searching for his runs too. And with Franco Vazquez, their wildly gifted new signing from Palermo, often feeding him with his exquisite passing skills from the no10 position, Vietto was constantly put through on goal. Even though he butchered some very good chances, he did still get himself on the scoresheet in a manner that would've particularly impressed his manager.

Here, after noticing Granada's Tino dawdling in possession, Vietto, who was already in the motion of pressing the Granada defender, as is Sampaoli's desire, nipped in and dispossessed Tino with an aggressive tackle. Now, roughly 40 yards out from, he was free to dribble towards goal. As he closed in on the 18-yard-box, knowing Yevhen Konoplyanka was running to his left, Vietto craftily used the Ukrainian as a decoy and instead cut inside to throw off the Granada defence and placed his classy shot beyond a hapless Guillermo Ochoa. This passage perfectly epitomised the sort of defensive effort and attacking quality that will embody the bold Sampaoli's side this season. His coach would've loved seeing such commitment and desire exuded by his young pupil.

After such a promising body of work on his Sevilla debut, Vietto will be hoping his decision to join the winners of the last three Europa League titles will provide the ideal catalyst to get his career firing again. Having joined Atletico last season for a whopping €20 million from Villarreal on the back of scoring 20 goals in the 2014/15 campaign, he struggled to recapture his form under Diego Simeone. His inability to hit optimum form was aptly illustrated by the fact he couldn't cement his spot in the team and only mustered the one La Liga goal.

Sampaoli will definitely back himself to get the best out of his gifted countryman, as his style should suit the diminutive forward swimmingly and give him a terrific platform to use his multifaceted skillset. Moreover, playing alongside so many of his fellow Argentines in the form of Matias Kranevitter, Joaquin Correa, Franco Vazquez, Nicolas Parejo and Gabriel Mercado should ensure he integrates rapidly into his new surroundings.

All the parameters certainly appear to be in place for Vietto to succeed at Sevilla, now it's up to him to fulfill his undeniable potential and show what a wonderful little player he really is.

More blogs from Edward at Licence to Roam