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Stevanovic’s loan spell with TFC ended by Torino

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Serbian midfielder Alen Stevanovic’s loan spell with Toronto FC has been terminated.

The MLS club announced Sunday that Stevanovic has been recalled by Torino FC, which co-owns his rights with Inter Milan.

The timing is odd; Stevanovic played in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Yes, coach Aron Winter was short of players do to an injury crisis. But, to play someone you know would be off to Italy the next day would be a strange decision, indeed.

“We are disappointed to see Alen leave our club. He is a good young midfielder and did some good things for us,” said Winter in a release issued by the club. “We knew a recall was always possible and now the time has come to thank Alen and wish him well.”

A key factor in what has to be considered a surprise recall is the coaching situation in Torino. Just last week, the club, which finished a disappointing eighth in Serie B last season, introduced a new manager, Giampiero Ventura. One of his first orders of business, he declared, was to evaluate the squad.

And, just as Winter didn’t want Dwayne De Rosario to be loaned to Celtic, and didn’t want to be saddled with promises made by the previous management to players like Eddy Sidra and Bas Ent, Ventura is now going to use the off-season to evaluate his squad. He can’t do that with Stevanovic on the other side of the Atlantic.

Stevanovic’s loan spell began March 24. He played nine times for TFC, and will quickly become one of the stumpers in trivia questions about the players who have appeared for the club in it’s first five seasons.

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