They've got a defense consisting of Palomino (agressive center back - doesnt back down) - Masiello (very capable center back, used to be a BEAST in Football Manager) - Rafael Toloi - Gianluca mancini (got a call up to the national team - highly talented)
They've got a midfield of Hateboer&Goosens - whom plays for the national team , whom both have been rumored to leave these last seasons, Freuler - extremly good, plays for the national team and De Roon - also plays for the national team.
And yes of course, Papu Gomez, Zapata and Ilicic.
Thats a coherent and good quality squad. I mean yes, they did a little better then expected and yes they have a good coach in Gasperini. But these players could easily fit in various top clubs. Its just that they came from under the radar and thanks to the quality of Atalanta scouting - and their youth academy - its starting to bare fruit.
I am more than confident that Atalanta will continue to be a top club - regardless of Gasperini being there or not. Because they have everything no one else except Napoli & Juventus doesnt have - they have a clear philioshpy and continuity. These players know eachother.
I cant agree, which is one of the reasons I in the past talked with caution with buying players from them. Just like with buying attackers from a Zeman team. Gasperini have tactics that clearly makes some players shine and make his team push beyond the weight. (as
pointed out thought he might not work out in a top club, even if this is still a great showing of what a manager can do to a team). Just you look at how well players that left their team is doing? I mean we are talking about Gagliardini, Kessie, Conti, Cristante, Spinazzola, Caldara, Kurtic (probably some I forgot) and they were all starters and succesful there, not so impressive now. For the same reason you now talk like they got world beaters.
Their defense is not that impressive, in fact all of them would been reserves with us. Just put Zapata with them and I am sure he would start. Masiello might have been big in FM, but IRL he is just a small club player that lives on being cynical, calm and concentrated. Palomino just broke through as he replaced Caldara, which I found more impressive in the same role. Toloi is good in his role, but there is a reason none are interested in buying him.
Their midfield are basically all replacements for players that impressed in the same way in the team and all also got callups for the national team while with Atalanta. (Kessie/Cristante still do)
Papu Gomez have indeed carried the team sometimes and might even be crucial for how well it works. Ilicic is a player that have failed more seasons than he has had success, now he is with a manager that makes him shine.