Atalanta have been one of the hottest teams in Italy for the past couple of seasons. Typically hovering around mid-table, the Bergamo side have brought the heat with defensive intensity and attacking flair to force their way into the top four and consistently qualify for the Champions League. Keeping up this kind of pace for a team of their size is rare, but Atalanta are once again poised for another strong season under Gian Piero Gasperini.
Atalanta Poised for Another Exciting Season
Teams of Atalanta’s size typically decline because of transfers out. Players shine and move to other traditionally “bigger” clubs. Atalanta did have somewhat of that this season, but not in a very detrimental way.
The biggest transfer out is that of Cristian Romero, who is now part of Tottenham Hotspur. The young Argentinian centre-back is a force in the defence, and was key to Atalanta last season. Tottenham have brought in a player capable of any challenge and willing to take it on due to both his toughness and intelligence. He will be missed in the Gewiss Stadium.
The second loss was goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini. Like Romero, he also moved to Tottenham. He started the bulk of Atalanta’s league games last season, appearing in 25 matches.
These were the two main losses for Atalanta, but they recouped nicely.
To replace Romero, Atalanta brought in Merih Demiral from Juventus. Although spending a portion of the last couple of years sidelined with injury, the Turkish international is a force to be reckoned with. At his top form and when healthy, Demiral is a fantastic centre-back capable of stopping the best of strikers. Players also tend to get into form rather quickly under Gasperini, and this can definitely be the case with Demiral. He’ll form an excellent one-two punch with Rafael Toloi.
The young Matteo Lovato was also brought in to shore up the centre-back depth after a strong season with Hellas Verona.
Juan Musso arrives to replace Gollini. Musso has starred at Udinese for a few years now, but many of his performances flew under the radar due to the overall quality of his team. On paper, this was an excellent replacement as many may argue that Musso possesses more talent. The move was done swiftly by Atalanta and will greatly benefit the squad.
The Atalanta Squad and Expectations
Outside of the aforementioned transfers, Atalanta have kept the vast majority of their core together.
These include Serie A stars such as Duvan Zapata (who Atalanta have no intention to sell), Luis Muriel, Robin Gosens, Ruslan Malinovskyi (Serie A’s leader in assists for the 2020/21 season), Remo Freuler, Marten de Roon, and more. Josip Ilicic was poised to depart, but it also looks like he’s going to remain.
All in all, the squad isn’t too different from last season. Atalanta finished in third. Robust attacking play will be key once again. Gasperini’s squad plays with all guns blazing, and Atalanta is the complete embodiment of this. Expect them to lead Serie A in goals once again, while fiercely competing for yet another top four spot. After experiencing the Champions League last season, they may also push for another run.
Although Juventus disappointed in Serie A last season, they’re still the team to beat. Inter Milan won the Scudetto, but have been decimated this transfer window. AC Milan, however, are looking quite improved. Atalanta likely fall into the category including Napoli, Roma, and Lazio, but should lead that pack in the hunt for the top four.
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