Sebastian Pasquali (15/19)

It says a lot about a player that he can be so highly thought of at a club without even playing a match for the youth teams. Sebastian Pasquali, a 17-year-old Australian attacking midfielder, made the move to Ajax from Melbourne Victory in the January 2017 transfer window, but he wasn’t allowed to play for the club throughout the rest of the season. “We don’t have clearance from the FIFA yet,” an Ajax spokesperson told the Herald Sun. “The procedure is still pending.” Nevertheless, Pasquali is a truly gifted talent.

Ajax took a punt on Sebastian Pasquali in the fall of 2016 despite the player only having played 2 A-League matches. What really captured the attention of audiences worldwide was his performance off the bench against Juventus in a friendly with Melbourne Victory last July, where he dominated the match and eventually scored in the penalty shootout. Pasquali’s flashy dribbling certainly wowed the announcers, but there’s a lot more to the Aussie’s game than that.

Sebastian Pasquali is one of those players that you watch and you just know he’s in control of the match. I’d liken him to a much more advanced Sergio Busquets because of how well he works in tight spaces; he’s constantly turning his head to analyze the situation, whether that be to avoid defenders or pick out open teammates. Pasquali’s passing ability allows him to unlock defensive lines, and he can do it so often because he puts himself in the positions to receive passes with time on the ball. At only 16-years-old, you could tell he was the main pivot, the creative composer of Melbourne’s attacking moves.

Pasquali isn’t just a creator. He’s not tall and is actually quite skinny, but the midfielder can stay composed and hold defenders off just long enough to get a pass away. Pasquali’s confidence is also beneficial without the ball as he is often seen tackling the ball away from opponents that don’t see him coming. He is certainly well-rounded enough for the Ajax system, especially at his age.

The player many Australians are claiming as their new hope, Sebastian Pasquali should excite every supporter of Ajax. He is not only a talented individual but also a great team player in a short-passing system. Sebastian’s confidence will surely make him a threat in the press as well. Pasquali may not have played a game for Ajax yet, but he’s poised to make an earth-shattering impact once he lands on the TV screens of fans across Holland.

Written by Alex Dieker

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Crossbar Post, as well as a writer for AjaxDaily and lover of all things Ajax!