In FIFA this is called 'jockying'. https://www.fifauteam.com/jockeying-tutorial-fifa-19/
Where you hold L2 to have your player face the ball but move around (slower) in any direction, even away from the ball. You'd have the players shoulders face the ball... sorta like you're corralling them.
I think this would give a greater feel of control over the player.... as right now it feels like they're all-or-nothing in a direction, which also produces this change direction animation.
This way you could position a player at the defensive side of a pack fairly easily, and feel in full control of them while moving them there.
Of course L2 would need to change it's function (from run to ball, to this)… but I would suggest 'run-to-ball' should automatically happen anyway (or have a setting for it to automatically happen)…. but be overrided with L2+R2 (like in FIFA).