Atalanta spent just €93m for their current squad sitting fourth in Serie A, qualifying for the quarter-finals in the Champions League and making a profit of €71.82m on player trading under Gian Piero Gasperini.
Buying low and selling high, that sounds like a strategy for the stock market, but Gasperini’s Atalanta has proved that it can work to build a big brand in football too.
La Dea appointed coach Gasperini in June 2016 and have since achieved some excellent results on the pitch, but during his four and a half years at the club, the scouts and directors have been pulling the right strings behind the scenes as well.
Atalanta’s scouting system hasn’t surprised anyone, but the way they have managed to create a squad that can fight for a place in the Champions League and eventually qualifying for the quarter-finals in their first ever appearance in the tournament, can only be applauded.
The Orobici have already set a record in January, when Dejan Kulusevski signed for Juventus and was left on loan to Parma for the rest of the season.
The €35m transfer of the Sweden international was the latest in a long list of big sales for La Dea, who have made a profit of €46.7m on player trading alone in 2019-20, despite also spending €53.2m on new talent.
Since Gasperini arrived in Bergamo, Atalanta have sold players for a total amount of €247.93m, according to Transfermarkt and have paid €176.11m for new players, giving the club a €71.82m profit only on player trading.
According to Cies football observatory, the Atalanta squad cost only €93m, so their current squad of 22 players cost €57m less than the Sampdoria team struggling for survival at the other end.
The comparison with other Serie A sides in the top four is even more staggering, as Juventus spent €719m for the team currently at the top of the league, whilst third-placed Inter splashed out €364m.
Atalanta transfer figures from 2016 to 2020:
2019-20: Signings: €53.2m - Sales: €99m - League Position: 4th*
2018-19: Signings: €53.5m - Sales: €21.56m - League Position: 3rd
2017-18: Signings: €55.11m - Sales: €86.04m - League Position: 7th
2016-17: Signings: €14.34m - Sales: €41.33m - League Position: 4th
*current position in suspended season
Top 5 biggest Atalanta sales under Gasperini:
1. Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus for €35m [2019-20]
2. Alessandro Bastoni to Inter for €31.1m [2017-18]
3. Franck Kessie to Milan for €24m [2019-20]
3. Andrea Conti to Milan for €24m [2017-18]
5. Roberto Gagliardini to Inter for €20.5m [2017-18]
Top 5 biggest Atalanta signings under Gasperini:
1. Duvan Zapata from Sampdoria for €26m [2019-20]*
2. Luis Muriel from Sevilla for €15m [2019-20]
3. Marten de Roon from Middlesbrough for €13.5m [2017-18]
4. Ruslan Malinovskiy from KRC Genk for €13.7m [2019-20]
5. Davide Bettella from Inter for €7m [2018-19]
*Zapata arrived on loan with a fee of €14m in 2018-19 and signed for an additional €12m ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
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