Atalanta and Their Testing Transfer Market Summer

After achieving so much during the 2019-20 campaign, the Atalanta stable of some of the most talented players in Serie A has become the envy of Europe’s leading lights as the transfer market session kicks off.

While the South may disagree, for someone who has been following Atalanta’s progress in the last two years, you cannot help but fall in love with this club.

The rise of Atalanta has been nothing short of extraordinary. From Serie A minnows to Champions League’s latest giant-killers, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have achieved the sort of feats not many outside the Italian Sette Sorelle have in recent years.

Atalanta players hold a minute’s silence for the victims of COVID-19

The city of Bergamo has been through a lot. The town became the center of Europe’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in March in what were perhaps the darkest times in recent Italian history.

But once football resumed, Atalanta showed just how important it was to bring joy back to the locals and to the general public.

Italian football is making a gradual comeback and it wouldn’t be surprising to see an Italian team win the Champions League in the coming years. And when you talk about Atalanta, they have been great representatives of Italian football.

Undoubtedly one of the most attacking sides in Europe, Atalanta’s story is a tale of a club that decided to punch above its weight but did so logically rather than being led on by sheer emotion. The right players were signed and the right manager was brought back.

This is a team that scored a bucket load of goals and almost became the first team to score 100 goals in a single Serie A campaign since 1950.

While Juventus were the champions of Italy (once again might we add with the boredom of an oyster), it was Gasperini’s side that won the adulation of neutrals from around the world. Therefore, it was truly heartbreaking to see them lose out on a dream Champions League final date with Bayern Munich.

Who knows how that might have turned out given the way the Italian outfit had been playing the last few months.

But now that the season is over and the summer transfer market is in full swing, we’re looking at some truly interesting times among the Atalanta lines.

It is a fact……a bitter fact at that!

A team that punches above its weight attracts unwanted attention – the sort of attention that many times results in its best parts being ripped apart.

In yesteryears, the likes of Ajax, Leicester City, Lille, Lyon, and even Borussia Dortmund saw some of their best players being taken away from them by clubs whose allure and track record of winning trophies is too good to ignore.

And this is what threatens the Bergamo club at present.

Atalanta’s Ilicic scored 4 goals to lead them to a 4-3 Champions League Round of 16 game

The likes of Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel, Alejandro Gomez, Robin Gosens, and Mario Pasalic played a crucial role in the team’s European adventure and a top-three finish in the Serie A.

Chances are that the club would find it hard to hold on to these players, or at least a few of them.

Atalanta have reportedly already put a €55M price tag on star striker Duvan Zapata as the Colombian is attracting a lot of transfer market interest from Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, and the Premier League.

At the age of 29, Zapata is entering the prime of his career and might want to go to a team where rather than punching above their weight, there are better chances of winning silverware. And the club is unlikely to stand in his way if the right offer comes in.

Juve have long been linked with the former Napoli man given the fact that he is seen as an ideal partner upfront for Cristiano Ronaldo.

On 26 December 2018, Duvan Zapata scored twice in a 2–2 draw against Juventus

Robin Gosens is another star performer who might be leaving the Gewiss Stadium this summer.  The 26-year-old wing-back has been earning plaudits for his displays in Italy and is now attracting reported interest from local giants Inter and Juventus.

After scoring 10 goals and providing 8 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions last season, the German full-back is going to be one of the most wanted defenders in Europe.

With Ben Chilwell set to seal a move to Chelsea, Leicester City are the latest club that has been linked with Gosens – who has also recently earned his first-ever German national team call up.

On 2 June 2017, it was announced that Robin Gosens had transferred to Italian side Atalanta

Mario Pasalic ended up scoring nine goals and provided five assists in the memorable Serie A campaign. The Croatian was loaned out by Chelsea and later on signed for La Dea permanently. The central midfielder is as good as they come and has been an integral part of the team for the last two years.

However, if the club ends up losing the likes of Zapata and Gosens, the 25-year-old might start weighing up his options. The German-born midfielder would understandably want to play at a club that can hold on to its best players.

And hey, who can blame him for that?

But before we start sounding the alarm bells, the Croatian only made a permanent move this June so it would be very strange to see him have a change of heart within two months.

Not everyone is Antonio Cassano, uh?

And it is this particular deal that might give the rest of the Atalanta major stars the motivation to stay on despite the transfer market rumors and continue this adventure that has captivated the imagination of the citizens of Bergamo and the neutrals who seek romanticism out of such fairytale runs.

On 25 July 2018, Mario Pašalić agreed to join the Italian side Atalanta on a season-long loan

But this doesn’t mean that the club would not lose a player or two this summer.

Timothy Castagne for instance has attracted a lot of admiring glances from all over Europe due to his displays for Atalanta last season. The Belgian full-back has already hinted at his inability to refuse the advances of the likes of PSG and Tottenham, two sides that are reportedly chasing his signature.

With his contract expiring next summer, the club might want to cash in on the 24-year-old and maybe generate a bit of extra income to sign a good replacement.

Times are definitely interesting for the city of Bergamo. They have a team that they can be proud of and a manager who is happy with what he has.

But how strong would Atalanta be once the transfer window shuts down? Would they prevail or become another club that decided to cash in on its players and start again?