Sebastian Pasquali: Ajax’ latest arrival from down under

In November 2016, a 17 year old Australian called Sebastian Pasquali signed a two year contract in Amsterdam, completing his move from Melbourne Victory. Prior to his move to Ajax, the then 16 year old Pasquali made his mark during his debut for Melbourne Victory; a high-profile match against Juventus during the International Champions Cup. Only coming on the pitch in the 66th minute, he impressed immediately with a driving run at the old lady’s defenses.

During the remainder of his 25 minute cameo Pasquali displayed both vision and quality with one-touch passes and excellent ball control. A well-orchestrated attack, including a back-heel pass from Pasquali, ultimately led to Melbourne Victory’s equalizing goal. To complete an outstanding display on his debut, the young Aussie scored the fifth penalty during the penalty shoot-out following the 1-1 draw. During his time at Melbourne Victory, Pasquali managed to score 3 goals in 12 appearances for the youth team and provide 1 assist in 2 appearances for the senior squad in the A-league.

Clearly, he performed well enough during his spell at Melbourne Victory for international scouts to recognize his talent, but exactly what kind of player is he? Pasquali is described as a natural playmaker who occupies a holding midfielder position by Patrick Ladru, head of youth scouting at Ajax. Standing 176 centimeters tall, Pasquali himself claims that he likes to express himself in the final third by assisting other players. Initially scouted by former Ajax striker Angelos Charisteas, Pasquali completed a trial at Ajax U19 and Jong Ajax where he managed to convince the youth coaches of his abilities. His move was announced by Ajax on November the 24th.

Since his arrival, Pasquali hasn’t played any official matches for Ajax yet, as his clearance from the FIFA is still pending. Therefore, his playtime at Ajax so far is limited to a few U19 club friendlies. Thanks to his second nationality and citizenship (Italian), he was initially able to complete the transfer to Ajax at such a young age due to the European Union laws that allow freedom of movement within its borders. However, as he transferred from a non-European country, the FIFA player status committee required more time to consider his case before granting clearance to play official matches for Ajax. Once he is cleared by FIFA, he is expected to play his matches for the U19 squad. Pasquali will without doubt be eager to show the Ajax fans just what he is capable of, and frankly, we can’t wait to see him do exactly that.

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