Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni has been linked with a move to Tottenham this summer as Antonio Conte looks to strengthen his squad.
Conte worked with Bastoni during his time at Inter and is reportedly keen to bring the 23-year-old defender to Spurs ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. The Lilywhites have already completed the signing of Ivan Perisic from Inter this summer after the Croatian reunited with Conte at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a two-year deal.
According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, as cited by the Mirror, Tottenham have initiated contact with the player’s camp and club, but face stiff competition for the Italy international’s signature with Manchester United also interested. Whilst Bastoni has shrugged off rumors of a potential move, football.London’s chief Tottenham Hotspur correspondent Alasdair Gold said: “Alessandro Bastoni is understood to be keen to play under Antonio Conte again at some point.”
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So, if Bastoni was to make the move to Spurs in the summer, what sort of impact could he have on Conte’s side? Could the 23-year-old help the club win a trophy?
We simulated the 2022/23 season with Bastoni in the Spurs squad and this is what happened.
We ‘signed’ Alessandro Bastoni for Spurs in July 2022
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Bastoni to join Conte’s side at the start of the summer transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation. This is what Bastoni’s in-game profile looks like on FM22.
The 23-year-old is regarded as one of the most talented young center-backs in Europe and already has impressive attributes with plenty of time to develop further. Bastoni’s key attributes include Tackling (16), Teamwork (17), Determination (16), Bravery (16), Balance (16), Jumping Reach (16), Natural Fitness (17), First Touch (15), Heading (15 ), Marking (15), Passing (15), Strength (15), Vision (15), Anticipation (15) and Work Rate (15).
The Italy international’s profile suggests that Bastoni is an elite center-back already with traits that suit Conte’s tactics including not diving into tackles, trying long-range passes and bringing the ball out of defense. So, how did the 23-year-old perform for Spurs in our simulation?
Bastoni became a crucial player for Spurs and slotted straight into the defense alongside Eric Dier and Cristian Romero. The Italian defender ranked as the fifth-best performer at the club in the 2022/23 season, averaging a match rating of 7.25.
Bastoni chipped in with a goal and an assist, making a total of 42 appearances for Conte’s side in all competitions. The 23-year-old demonstrated his impressive passing ability by averaging a pass completion rate of 94%, only bettered by Dier and Romero.
At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Tottenham XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics. This is what Spurs’ best XI looked like at the end of the 2022-23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:
Full Spurs best XI (3-4-3): Lloris; Romero, Dier, Bastoni; Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski, Son, Kane.
Bastoni slotted into the left side of the back three alongside Dier and Romero, with his former Inter teammate Perisic operating at left-wing back. Conte brought in Weston McKennie from Juventus after completing another signing from Serie A, but the American midfielder could not displace Bentancur and Hojbjerg in the starting lineup.
So, how did Spurs perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Bastoni in the summer transfer window? Let’s take a look.
Spurs’ results from the 2022-23 simulation:
Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League with Bastoni in the squad, 17 points behind champions Manchester City. Conte’s side qualified for the Champions League ahead of both Chelsea and Arsenal, but were leapfrogged by Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side in the table.
Compared to the 2021/22 season, Spurs finished in the same league position but with one more point and the same goal difference of +29. The Lilywhites’ league performance highlighted the need for further reinforcements but suggested the club showed signs of stability after back-to-back top-four finishes.
And Spurs finished the 2022/23 season with a trophy, for the first time since the 2007/08 season, after beating Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup final thanks to Dejan Kulusevski’s early goal. Conte’s side reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals and Champions League round of 16 but were knocked out by Newcastle and Bastoni’s former side Inter, respectively.
Overall, this Football Manager simulation predicts that if Spurs were to sign Bastoni ahead of the 2022/23 season, he could help the club win their first piece of silverware in 15 years after beating Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup final. Conte’s side showed stability and qualified for the Champions League with a top-four finish for a second successive season, but further improvements would be needed to bridge the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.
Would you like to see Alessandro Bastoni sign for Tottenham this summer? Let us know in the comments!