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Fantasy Football Scout: Could Tonali be a good FPL asset?

Newcastle United’s £55m capture of AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali (£5.5m) has got many Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers talking.

Not only about the Italian’s own potential but whether he frees Bruno Guimaraes (£6.0m) to get further upfield, or if he removes some set-pieces from Kieran Trippier (£6.5m).

Over on Fantasy Football Scout, these questions were investigated in a Scout Report.

2023/24 FPL Wildcard

SANDRO TONALI: PLAYING HISTORY

An Italian central midfielder who started life at Brescia before moving to the city of Milan. Let the lazy Andrea Pirlo comparisons begin.

Tonali made his competitive debut for Pep Guardiola’s old team at the age of 17, winning promotion to Serie A in his second season.

Making his senior international bow in October 2019 while still a teenager, Tonali was snapped up by AC Milan a year later in a loan-to-buy deal.

He established himself as a first-team regular in his second season with his boyhood club. In fact, he was a key part of the Milan side that won their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Tonali was still a midfield mainstay as Milan progressed to the semi-finals of last season’s UEFA Champions League. They eventually succumbed to cross-city rivals Inter.

Earlier this summer, he was involved with Italy at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Newcastle wouldn’t have been too disappointed to see Gli Azzurrini bow out at the group stage.

HIS STYLE OF PLAY

The goal and assist figures neither impressively stand out nor are bad enough to be instantly dismissed. But there’s arguably another Newcastle midfielder who Tonali most resembles.

Energetic, hard-working, an aggressive presser, a box-to-box midfielder and someone who likes to ping long passes with a varied success rate – it all sounds very Sean Longstaff (£5.0m).

“Tonali stood out for his athletics rather than the aesthetics. He’s the player who covers the most distance for Milan, and while he lacks the pace of colleagues Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao, he does more work at high speed than anyone in their team apart from cocker spaniel-turned-winger Alexis Saelemaekers.” – Italian football journalist James Horncastle

Ranking in the bottom half of midfielders for some of the orthodox defensive metrics (eg blocks, aerial duels), he doesn’t seem to be the old-school ‘number six’ that some unaware pundits and Newcastle fans believe they are getting.

Check out the full article here. It goes on to discuss Tonali’s assist potential and the impact that his arrival will have on Guimaraes.

Fantasy Football Community