Back for part deux at the Boro’ in 2021, what attacker is going to want to see Sacha Bastien bearing down on them in a one-on-one? We’re 100% sure the answer to that poser is “none”. The imposing French stopper re-signed at the Lamex in summer 2021 as we looked for additional keeping cover. While we’d brought in Joseph Anang on loan from West Ham, there was no obvious and able deputy. It was no surprise, therefore, that our man was someone that we knew well. Like Anang, however, Bastien didn’t make the grade during the 2021-2 season and never found favour. Paul Tisdale opted to bring in two stoppers when he was in charge. And then Steve Evans found no room for the Frenchman in his plans.
Bastien had originally joined us before the 2019-20 League Two campaign. Brought in as back-up to Paul Farman (at least, to start with), quite what we could expect from him was anyone’s guess. In the rare game time he got, Bastien looked solid and commanding. He did little wrong too; impressive for a side that was struggling so much. Farman was clearly the number one, however. And, in summer 2020, all efforts were focused on keeping him and not Bastien. It was a time when Covid was in full swing, so cash was incredibly tight. Not only that, but we had an anxious wait to see if we were going to be relegated to the National League.
In that context, the purse strings were tight and we had to cut our losses. Sadly, it meant we had no room for the Frenchman; leaving the club on a free with no new contract offer. You felt at the time we could’ve done a lot worse to have kept him on.
Sacha Bastien: Before Boro’
It’s also probably fair to say the signing came out of the blue. Not many people on these shores will know Bastien before his time with us. That’s because he spent his career up to that point in the French leagues. Not surprising, really, given that he’s a Frenchman. More recently, he was at US Granville in the French fourth tier. Mind you, one source claims he’d made the move to Toulon in the third tier just before joining us.
Our limited expertise on French football means we couldn’t tell you. We have a je ne sais quoi approach to it all, really.
Sacha Bastien: After Boro’ (Part 1)
Bastien didn’t seem to find it easy to find a new club as the pandemic kept crowds out of the stadiums. It left potential suitors with little room for manouevre; Gillingham taking him on for a short time. As the restrictions lifted and crowds started to return in summer 2021, the road for Bastien led back to the Lamex. With a few trial games under his belt, he was tied down. After all, our track record of French stoppers on our books is a decent one. It’s fair to say our previous one wasn’t a dud.