Football Season Guide



Juan Musso (gk)(Udinese); Merih Demiral (def)(Juventus, on loan); Matteo Lovato (def)(Hellas Verona); Giuseppe Pezzella (def)(Parma, on loan); Roberto Piccoli (att)(Spezia, end of loan); Federico Mattiello (def)(Spezia, end of loan);


Pierluigi Gollini (r)(gk)(Tottenham Hotspur, on loan); Cristian Romero (r)(def)(Tottenham Hotspur via Juventus, on loan); Viktor Kovalenko (mid)(Spezia, on loan); Mattia Caldara (def)(Venezia via Milan, end of loan); Matteo Ruggeri (def)(Salernitana, on loan);

Since coach Gasperini's arrival in 2016, Atalanta have enjoyed an array of triumphant campaigns and the last one was no exception: they qualified for their 3rd Champions League in a row and even played their second Coppa Italia final in 3 years. However, a bitter taste remains as they missed out on a second place finish, their best Serie A performance ever, in the last game of the season and failed to bring any silverware home once again. Ambitious Atalanta logically opted to continue their journey with Gasperini this season, even though this meant parting ways with more of their stars. In fact, the coach imposes on the squad a rigid discipline, which proves crucial in reaching their goals but is not often appreciated by the players. After wizard Gomez, who left last January, goalkeeper Gollini opted to quit for Tottenham over the summer and genius Ilicic is soon expected to follow suit, having fallen out of favour. Gollini's departure will not be felt, though, as Atalanta acquired Musso from Udinese, one of the best goalies around. Even centre-back Romero, who was extraordinary last season left for Tottenham, because of an offer they could not refuse, but he was immediately replaced by valid Demiral who had little opportunity for playing time at Juventus. Caldara was released back to Milan after a poor season while they invested on the young Lovato, who did very well in the heart of the Hellas Verona defence. Another youngster, Pezzella should provide depth on the flanks, where they had some problems whenever Hateboer and Mahle were out injured. At the moment, Atalanta look pretty much like last year's squad: they have more options for the flanks but lack alternatives in the middle of the park and up-front. If more departures take place, come the right offer for the likes of Zapata or Gosens, they would have the money, but not the time to adequately replace them.


They will be fighting for a top 4 finish, provided no further big stars quit.