Welcome to our Alessandro Bastoni 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
Inter’s decision to ship out €28 million to Atalanta in return for an unproven 18-year-old in the summer of 2017 looked rather questionable at the time. The player in question didn’t even get a chance to show off in Milan first and instead stayed with La Dea on a two-year-loan. He made only four appearances in the first season on loan before moving on to Parma the following summer. Fast forward four years, Alessandro Bastoni was one of the first names on the Inter’s team sheet as it hoisted the Scudetto and one of the best u-23 players in the world.
Games Played: 41 (40 starts, 3,482 minutes)
What went right this season?
After returning from a successful stint at the Ennio Tardini, Bastoni’s emergence into Inter’s first team was one of the surprises of the 2019/20 campaign. He only continued to climb last season and had a rock-solid grip on a starting role since Day 1. The Italian fit perfectly into the Nerazzurri’s back-three alongside the more reserved Stefan de Vrij and the tenacious Milan Skriniar. Bastoni’s passing abilities in particular were on another level. Countless attacks started with a switch or smart pass from the 22-year-old and he gave Inter an outlet that not many teams could cope with. Bastoni was second in touches (2,897) and first in passes completed (2,342) on the Nerazzurri. He averaged 10.09 long balls, 4.77 passes into the final third, 3.89 progressive passes, and 2.26 switches per game. With Bastoni and Marcelo Brozovic, Inter boasted two of the most skilled passes in Serie A.
It’s no surprise that Bastoni’s left boot made its mark on Inter’s season considering so much of play went through the Italian’s port foot. Bastoni proved especially crucial to the good guys’ memorable 2-0 win over Juventus. From deep in his own half, Bastoni sent a spectacular ball over the Old Lady and deep into its half. Thanks to his vision and skill, Inter capitalized on Juve’s disorganization and high line to make it 2-0.
What does he need to improve on?
While the on-the-ball side of Bastoni’s game is all but perfect, he still has room for improvement defensively. He was never a weak link in the back, but to complete his overall game Bastoni needs to add Skriniar’s tackling and pure ‘stop the attack’ ability into his repertoire. But as long as de Vrij and Skriniar are in the mix as well, Inter’s backline is a perfect fit across the board.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
After recently penning a contract extension until 2024 with a significant raise attached, Bastoni’s future looks fairly clear. Unless a colossal offer comes in, his long-term future will be in Nerazzurri colors. There’s no doubt that some of the biggest clubs in Europe have interest in Bastoni but as long as Inter continues to have a winning project and can sort out its finances, the 22-year-old could be a pillar of the Nerazzurri for the next decade.