Who could have imagined this awful start? Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio are a little club in Serie A, based in the little city of Bergamo, in Lombardy, Italy, not so far from Milan. Even though this city only has around 120.000 inhabitants, it is has established itself within Serie A over the last 6 years, whilst only suffering relegation to Serie B on just 3 occasions in the last 15 years. As an emerging club, it has only finished within the top 10 on three occasions, whilst being on the cusp of qualifying for the Europa League.

Atalanta have started the Serie A season in a very bad way, with just 1 win and 3 defeats from the first 4 games. However there has been some positives to take for Atalanta, and that is in the form of a young player who is making a massive impact: Franck Kessié.

At 20 years-old, this Ivorian midfielder started his career at Stella Club d’Adjamé, a little club in the Ivory Coast. He developed some good qualities playing as a centre-back, but in 2015/2016 he transferred to Cesena in Italy, and started playing as a central midfielder.

He possesses a good heading ability even though he’s only 1.82 mt tall. He has impressed with his physical abilities so far this season, primarily in his tackling, marking, acceleration, strength and pace. He has got wonderful ball control and this is why he started playing in midfield.

However, his most impressive qualities are the mental ones: he’s brave, determined, has good concentration and has the right personality to face the most important challenges and encourage his team in the worst situations, just as he did during the recent fixture against Lazio.

He has to improve his shooting and passing skills, but with this mental approach we’re sure he will. Already this season he has scored 4 goals in 4 appearances, leaving his team mates astonished by his coolness and finishing.

In 2013 he played for the U-17 Ivorian team and scored 2 goals in 5 appearances and he has been a regular in the senior national team for the last few fixtures.

Only recently, his coach Gian Piero Gasperini has said that he will be the new penalty taker for his team because of his coolness and determination. His role models are Essien and Yaya Touré, and he’s very similar to how they were in the earlier stages of their respective careers.

Napoli, Roma, Juventus and Fiorentina are the teams that are most interested in a transfer for this young player. Some teams have purchased an option to buy him at the end of the season, but his ultimate dream is to join Manchester United.

If he secures a transfer to a bigger club and maintains the same approach, it would be a safe bet that Kessié has a very bright future ahead of him!

About the author – Marco Santanche

Marco was born in Rome and supports Inter because of Luiz Nazario Da Lima Ronaldo. He is a Brazilian citizen because of his father’s roots. He played futsal for several years, even in the FIGC (Italian FA) as a winger, playmaker and striker. He is now studying for a degree in finance.


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