Figli Della Dea – “sons of the goddess” (according to google translate) – is not intended to be any sort of grand scheme that will leave you in awe. It’s a very simple solution to a very simple problem.
Earlier in my updates of the 2022/23 season I mentioned my concerns about the player turnover during my (now) three seasons in charge of Atalanta. I don’t think it’s anything unnatural but, rather, for a club in this situation is is probably as you would expect. As Atalanta moved from an upper-mid-table side to one entering the questions around the title race, there has to be a gradual changing of the guard. This happens for two reasons as far as I see it:
- players that are just not of the required ability to step into a title challenge;
- ambitious players capitalising on our recent improvement in form and status to gain themselves moves away to ‘bigger’ clubs.
With the above two players moving out there is an obvious need to not only replace them but also improve the options we have in certain positions. It all leads to a a bit of a revolving door situation. A telling sign of this is the fact that José Luis Palomino is the only surviving member of the first choice XI I began this save with just 3 in-game years ago.
Aside from wanting to have a more stable and familiar team going forward, the player movement has also left me in a bit of a tight spot when it comes to competition squad registration. Both Serie A and the Champions League stipulate that the squad must contain a minimum of 8 players trained in Italy for 3 years between their 15th and 21st birthdays and 4 of those must have been trained by Atalanta for 3 years between their 15th and 21st birthdays.
Unable to fill our quota of homegrown players within the senior squad, I have had to often opt for leaving gaps in my registered squad to account for this. It’s not a massive issue but it’s something I want to be able to fix.
I’ve made no secret of my regular forays into the Scandinavian market to pilfer my fair share of high potential Norsemen, like a modern day reverse Viking.
In January 2022 I signed Tim Rönning (IF Elfsborg, Sweden), Jakob Petersen, Malthe Lassen (both Aalborg, Denmark) and Søren Knudsen (FC Midtjylland, Denmark) for a combined fee of £10.7k. In July of the same year I made a further move for Christer Hellum (Molde, Norway) for £7.5k.
In January 2023 the prices increased by a large degree but the players kept coming with the signings of Niels Poulsen, Mads Jensen and Yankuba Janneh (all FC Midtjylland, Denmark) for a combined £8.5m with another £850 (yes, £850) spent on Marc Petersen (FC København, Denmark). In the same month, just a year after joining, I sold Tim Rönning to Leicester City for £15m.
The Scandi-nation signings join an Atalanta Youth Set up that is already much lauded in Serie A, with a familiar face/voice in Drøbak IL academy graduate Alwande Roaldsøy who joined the club before my appointment as manager.
The below table, including the signings mentioned above who remain at the club, indicates the level of home grown players in and around our senior squad or how far they are from obtaining that status.
|Name||Attained Status||Due Date|
|Marco Carnesecchi (GK)||Trained at club||–|
|Mads Jensen (DC)||–||Club: 27/06/2025|
|Edoardo Scagnatta (WBR)||Trained at club||–|
|David Heidenreich (DC)||Trained at club||–|
|Matteo Ruggeri (WBL)||Trained at club||–|
|Simone Panada (MC)||Trained at club||–|
|Eduardo Camavinga (MC)||–||Club: 28/06/2024|
|Yankuba Janneh (WBL)||–||Club: 27/06/2025|
|Daniel Nachev (AMC)||–||Club: 27/06/2025|
|Søren Knudsen (AMC)||–||Club: 27/06/2024|
|Lukas Vorlicky (AML/C)||Trained at club||–|
|Alwande Roaldsøy (AMR)||Trained at club||–|
|Adam Hlozek (ST)||–||Club: 28/06/2024|
|Alessio Rosa (ST)||Trained at club||–|
|Marc Petersen (GK)||–||Club: 28/06/2025|
|Jakob Petersen (GK)||–||Nation: 28/06/2024|
|Christer Hellum (DC)||–||Club: 28/06/2025|
|Malthe Lassen (DC)||–||Club: 28/06/2024|
|Niels Poulsen (ST)||–||Club: 27/06/2025|
|Walter Galante (AMR)||Trained at club||–|
A NEW RECRUITMENT STRATEGY
The players in green text in the above table are all returning from a loan spell in the season just gone. As you can see, if I decide to retain them for the season ahead, this will help my homegrown requirements enormously.
As I said at the beginning, it is a very simple solution. I will put more effort into integrating these promising youngsters into my matchday squads. Some are already there however most still have some way to go. The plan is to fulfill the homegrown quotas (and then some) not just by filling spots but by having players of the top quality who meet the criteria.
This moves me on to my next problem – the high player turnover. Going forward my intention is only to sign a player aged 20 years or over if it is a direct replacement for a first choice player. I feel this will allow me to keep a handle on my squad size (and by proxy my squad registration dilemma) while also allowing for the need to replace established quality with established quality. It also means I can still make signings to improve my U20 and U18 sides.
The new signing guideline won’t be any strict policy or anything like that – this is still a game and I want to treat it so – but rather just an aim. As I mention in every edition of FM, if the right player (either amazing ability or just a player I really admire) becomes available then I won’t stop myself from bringing them in.