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Alessandro Bastoni: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Alessandro Bastoni: Profile

Name: Alessandro Bastoni

Date of birth: April 13th, 1999

Nationality: Italy

Position: Centre-Back

Height: 1.91m

Alessandro Bastoni: Introduction

The Lombardy-born centre-back’s determination to reach the heights of senior football matches that of his playing style. A committed defender with an excellent read of the game, Alessandro Bastoni is developing into a top-class centre-half.

Alessandro Bastoni: Background

Alessandro Bastoni was born in Casalmaggiore, Italy. Coming from a footballing family, it always seemed likely that Alessandro would follow a similar path to his father Nicola Bastoni, who played in Serie B with Cremonese. He coached the local side Cannatese’s youth team and Bastoni was integrated. However, at the age of 7, Bastoni joined the Atalanta youth academy.

“I used to make the 260 km round trip from Casalmaggiore to Bergamo, in the car with my father, every day to go to training and games for Atalanta’s youth teams,” said the Italian. “This ritual began when I was seven years old and, if I have arrived in Serie A, it is thanks to the support from my family and the sacrifices my father made to help me cultivate this dream. It was not easy for me either – I left school early, ate a sandwich in the car, and then did not return home until 8pm.”

The commitment from Bastoni and those around him has propelled him to develop into the player he is today. Eventually maturing into a senior player, Inter Milan came calling and the Italian signed for the club.

“Certainly, it was one of the best moment of my life. Not only for me, but also my father who has always been a fan of the club. I remember that my agent got in touch with me and made an appointment to meet in person,” Bastoni remarked regarding joining Inter. “When he saw me he immediately asked ‘Do you want to go to Inter?’ It didn’t take long for me to answer.”

Expert insight on Alessandro Bastoni

“Alessandro Bastoni is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most sought after central defenders. The defender’s performances have brought praise due to his maturity and technical ability. Bastoni came from Atalanta’s prestigious youth academy at the age of seven but was bought by Inter for €31m after just three appearances. He was loaned out to Parma where he had a successful season before coming back to Milan to feature in Antonio Conte’s first team.”

“So, what makes him one of the most promising you centre backs in European football? For his age, he is incredibly intelligent and he shows this in his positioning. He also is strong and aggressive in the way he defends but the real quality comes when he is on the ball. He defends on the front foot and in doing this, he offers quality in possession and he has a superb range of passing.”

“He has the intelligence to see danger, break position, make the tackle and then go on the offensive. His pace allows him this but it also allows him to keep pace with most forwards that come at him. His ability on one on ones is perhaps not talked about enough.”

Tactical Overview of Alessandro Bastoni

The key strength of Bastoni is his reading of the game and the way he positions himself. Often anticipating danger and attempting to deal with it. Occasionally a little rash, but the Italian makes the coach’s decision to drop him difficult with his committed style. A left-footer, Bastoni can occupy the central or left-hand side position of the back 3. Quick acceleration over short distances is a key asset for Bastoni and often leads to winning key challenges and interceptions.

Bastoni identifies the area of danger where the Sassuolo player can run incisively into.

Bastoni accelerates, and nullifies the danger with a swift sliding challenge.

Fiorentina's Milenkovic fires the ball into the striker. A pass type used to beat the midfield press.However Bastoni reads the play and is in to win possession for his team.

Whilst tackling and defensive positioning is key for a modern-day centre-half, astute passing is also vital. Teams need confidence in their defenders to add to the attack, through quick passing and switching of play. Bastoni’s defensive reading of the game and understanding of player positioning translates to his passing. Often spotting teammates in open space and finding passes across and through the pitch.

Bastoni often spots cross-field passes. Playing to the left of a back 3 allows for the Italian to spray passes to the right wing-back.However, Bastoni still needs to time the passes correctly, spot the players in space and with time to control and attack the opposition.The passing is not limited to cross-field. Spotting the runs made by forwards can also lead to clear cut chances.In this example, Bastoni's lofted through ball finds Lukaku who holds off the defender before slotting home.

Alessandro Bastoni is displaying the maturity of a player well beyond his years. Positionally astute and with the confidence to attempt passes in an offensive manner. Whether the centre-back could work in a back four system is yet to be seen. Considering his behavioural style to break out and close passes and runs down, it could leave side’s vulnerable. However, the Italian is hugely talented and looks to be going from strength to strength.

Alessandro Bastoni: Official video

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