15th; W11 D9 L18
One of Serie A's biggest revelations in achieving a mid-table finish last season despite being handed a six-point deduction, Atalanta failed to deliver a repeat performance this time around. They finished the season in 15th place, winning only five times in their last 26 league games and picking up seven of their eleven league victories before the turn of the year.
They never managed to get themselves firing on all cylinders in 2013, in an impressively bad finish to a frustrating campaign. The departures of Federico Peluso and Ezequiel Schelotto in January seemed to impact on their results, though La Dea still managed to finish a relatively comfy eight points clear of the relegation zone -- with survival probably their principal target at the start of the season.
Most significant match:
Inter Milan 3-4 Atalanta (7 April 2013)
There wasn't much significant about Atalanta's season, but there's no doubt that it's their away victory against Inter in April which will stick in the supporters' minds. Germán Denis netted a second-half hat-trick as Atalanta came from 3-1 down to win 4-3 at the San Siro, staking their claim to be Serie A's kings of nerazzurri, and ultimately securing points which helped ensure their safety.
Germán Denis is still good
Spearheading the attack, Germán Denis' importance to Atalanta is obvious. After scoring 16 times last season he netted 15 times this campaign, ensuring his status as one of Serie A's most reliable strikers. The 31-year-old has been linked with moves to Inter and Lazio of late, and his departure would prove costly. As of yet none of Atalanta's other strikers have shown signs they're as clinical as the Argentine, and if second-top scorer Giacomo Bonaventura earns himself a move away too, they could be left in some bother.
With the squad at their disposal, Atalanta really should've achieved more this season. Alongside Denis and Bonaventura they had playmaker Luca Cigarini and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli playing well -- all of whom have been rumoured to be moving to bigger clubs. Ultimately they failed to play to their potential as a team, let down by anonymous performances from the likes of Maxi Moralez, who didn't live up to the high standard he set last season.
What needs changing?
The answer, strangely, is probably not much. Despite their poor run-in, Atalanta have a solid, even pretty talented squad. They probably have too much deadwood hanging around the training ground -- Lionel Scaloni, Franco Brienza and Igor Budan are all ageing and haven't really been given much of a look-in, though the main core of their squad is strong. Should they lose players in the summer then they'll need to reinforce, though otherwise they're a good mid-table team, who underperformed this season.
Who's off in the summer?
This is the dreaded question for Atalanta fans, as there's a great chunk of their first team waiting to be snapped up. Aside from Denis, Bonaventura has been subject to interest from Juventus and Inter, AC Milan would reportedly like to replace Christian Abbiati with Consigli, and Cigarini is subject to a co-ownership with Napoli and is chased by Fiorentina amongst others. There's a chance all or none of these players could move, though Atalanta will have to fight hard to keep them at the catchy Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
If Atalanta keep one individual...
I may have spent a paragraph singing the praises of Germán Denis, though Giacomo Bonaventura is more important in Atalanta's all-round play, and is only 23. A great long-term prospect, he scored seven times from midfield this season and created a few more, making him probably the most valuable player on the team. The longer the Orobici can hold on to young Jack, the better.