The darling of Italian football, Serie A’s great entertainers, a European dark horse; call them what you will, but there can be no denying that Atalanta have captured hearts and minds over the past few seasons, and two men are responsible for that more than most: Gian Piero Gasperini and Alejandro Gomez.

Gasperini is the master tactician, transforming the La Dea from Serie A laggards to Champions League regulars, while Papu Gomez is the linchpin, talisman and captain rolled into one, a bundle of creative genius and consummate leadership. He has more assists (37) than any player over each of the last three full Serie A seasons.

Together the duo have catapulted Atalanta to stardom both domestically and in Europe, amassing a 98-goal haul in Serie A last term (22 more than eventual champions Juventus) while also reaching the Champions League quarter-finals in the club’s debut season.

At times that pattern has spilled over to this campaign. The win over Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League was Atalanta in microcosm, an exhibition of attacking quality where La Dea poured forward in cyclical waves and with cut-throat penetration.

Alejandro Gomez

Age: 32

Club: Atalanta

Position: No. 10

Football Index value: £0.41 (Sell) – £0.54 (Buy)

Serie A stats at Atalanta 2019/20: | Games played: 36 | Goals scored: 7 (0.22 per 90) | Chances created: 102 (3.21 per 90) | Assists: 16 (0.5 per 90) | Passes: 1,719 (54.17 per 90) | Dribbles completed: 63 (1.99 per 90) continue reading

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