Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Liverpool Locked In A Three-Way Battle For This Serie A Defender: What Will He Add To Klopp’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that Liverpool are locked in a three-way battle for Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni. It has been revealed that the Reds could face competition in the form of Barcelona and Bayern Munich with all three teams willing to pay at least €50m to acquire the Italian centre-back’s services (via Gazzetta dello Sport).

Bastoni’s Impressive Campaign In Italian Football

Bastoni is enjoying a solid season at the San Siro as he has been responsible for producing a series of commanding displays at the heart of Antonio Conte’s defence. The Casalmaggiore-born talent has participated in 32 matches for Inter this term, picking up four assists in the process across various competitions.

The 21-year-old deserves a lot of plaudits for averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 2.0 clearances and 0.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in Serie A. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from the back after completing 89.9% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

The Italian youngster has shown a lot of maturity with his performances back in his homeland this season. However, the jury is still out on whether he can maintain his good form in the Premier League if the Reds can win the race to land him in the future.

Liverpool locked in a three-way battle for Alessandro Bastoni who is seen in the picture
Alessandro Bastoni of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A football match between Torino FC and FC Internazionale at stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Torino Italy, March 14th, 2021. Photo Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto andreaxstaccioli

What Will The Italian Defensive Ace Add To Jurgen Klopp’s Team?

Bastoni has proven himself to be a capable defender at the back as he can sense the danger quickly and make some important clearances inside his half. He loves a tackle and can time his challenges well to earn possession back for his team.

The three-time Italy international is composed on the ball and is comfortable playing his way out from defence. However, he is still quite inexperienced at the highest level but could turn out to be a shrewd signing for Liverpool in the long-run if Jurgen Klopp decides to orchestrate a big-money move to lure him to Anfield at the end of this season.

Standing at 1.90m, Bastoni can be a hard man to beat in the air as he is quite aggressive when contesting for loose possession on the defensive third of the pitch. The Italian sensation will undeniably add more competition for Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Nathaniel Phillips for a place alongside Virgil Van Dijk in Klopp’s starting XI next season.

Some might consider Bastoni to be an upgrade over Ozan Kabak, who has been inconsistent with his performances for the Reds since arriving on loan from Schalke back in January. The Italian talent has got the potential to develop into a world-class centre-back someday, so he will be a good option for the Merseysiders this summer.

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