Alejandro Gomez’s seven-year association with Atalanta is over after their former captain completed a move to Sevilla.
Gomez, 32, joined Atalanta from Metalist Kharkiv in 2014 and was a key factor in the club’s rise from mid-table also-rans to regular top-four challengers.
He became captain in 2017 after a personal-best haul of 16 Serie A goals in 2016-17 and then skippered the club to their highest-ever top-flight finish of third in 2018-19.
They repeated the feat in 2019-20 and Gomez, whose 16 assists was the most by any player in a single Serie A season this century, was named the league’s best midfielder in the end-of-season awards.
But Gomez and coach Gian Piero Gasperini reportedly fell out earlier this season, with Italian media claiming the player had refused to carry out the manager’s orders in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Midtjylland.
49 – Players with the most assists in the top five European leagues since the start of 2016/17:
66 – Kevin De Bruyne
65 – Thomas Müller
57 – Lionel Messi
49 – ALEJANDRO GÓMEZ
44 – Ángel Di María
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 25, 2021
Speculation was rife throughout December about whether the pair would be able to repair their relationship or if Gomez was on his way out, with Inter initially thought to be his likeliest of options.
But more recently Italian publications suggested Atalanta were keen to offload him to a foreign team, and Sevilla – whom Gomez had previously suggested were his favourite Spanish team – made their move.
The talented attacker, who can play on the left flank or behind the striker, signed a contract until June 2024 on Tuesday.
He is an Argentina team-mate of current Sevilla players Lucas Ocampos and Marcos Acuna, and was given his Albiceleste bow by the club’s former coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Sevilla will hope Gomez can serve them as effectively he did Atalanta in the main – from the start of 2018-19 until December 16, when he last featured in Serie A for the Bergamo side, no player across Europe’s big five leagues played more key passes than his 233.
Similarly, his 29 assists across the same period was bettered by only Thomas Muller (36), Lionel Messi (34) and Jadon Sancho (33). There were also only five players to create more Opta-defined “big chances” than his 40 in that time.
Papu Gómez es nuevo jugador del #SevillaFC.
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) January 26, 2021
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