Nearly two-and-a-half years after joining the youth academy of Dutch giant Ajax, Olyroos midfielder Sebastian Pasquali is heading home as the latest acquisition of A-League newcomers Western United on a multi-year deal.
Sources from within the Olyroos camp in Malaysia, where Pasquali is preparing for the looming AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers, have confirmed that the 19-year-old former Melbourne Victory rookie has decided to return to his home state.
Off-contract Pasquali, who has struggled for game time with Ajax’s second team this season, burst forth as a 16-year-old for Victory, scoring the winning penalty against a touring Juventus in a shootout to mark a dazzling debut for Kevin Muscat’s men.
His impressive performance against the 34-time Serie A Champions got him noticed and led to an offer from the Turin club.
But after just two A-League appearances - a total of 29 minutes of action - he ended up being snapped up by Ajax in October 2016 instead.
Issues with his international clearance rubbed him out for the remainder of that season, even though he holds an Italian passport as well as an Australian passport.
He played for Ajax’s Under-19s the following season before breaking into the Jong Ajax squad, who play in Holland’s second tier.
After a bright start to this season - playing as a converted centre -back - Pasquali dropped down the pecking order.
With his Dutch contract due to expire, he has opted to take a step back to move forward again by agreeing to terms with United.
Having skippered the Young Socceroos, the technically gifted Pasqual is currently in Kuala Lumpur with Graham Arnold’s Olyroos, where they face Malaysia Under-23s on Sunday in their final tune-up before heading to neighbouring Cambodia to tackle the host nation, Chinese Taipei and Korea Republic in a bid to progress on the road to Tokyo 2020.
Pasquali will join officially confirmed signings Panagiotis Kone, Josh Risdon, Aaron Calver and Connor Chapman at United, with the Central Coast duo of Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Connor Pain also locked in.
It’s understood the club have up to 12 players already committed, with further names to be announced in the coming weeks and months.