Juventus
    Juventus
      25.10.2015 12:00 - in: Serie A S

      Three key men for Atalanta

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      The Nerazzurri have made a bright start to the campaign with 14 points from eight games. Juventus.com looks at the main men behind their early successes
      Mauricio Pinilla, 31, Forward

      Summer signing Mauricio Pinilla is Atalanta’s top marksman this term with three goals. The powerful centre-forward is a proven scorer at this level, having found the target 44 times across five seasons in Serie A, where he has represented Palermo, Cagliari, Genoa and now the Nerazzurri.

      The Chile international first left his native land in 2003 for a brief loan spell with Chievo Verona, before embarking on a career that would take him to Spain (with Celta Vigo and Racing Santander), Portugal (Sporting Lisbon), Scotland (Hearts), Brazil (Vasco da Gama) and Cyprus (Apollon Limassol) before making a return to Italy in 2009 with Serie B outfit Grossetto.

      24 goals in as many games that year immediately caught the attentions of first division sides and a move to Palermo followed after just one season in Tuscany. The 31-year-old has not looked back since, profiting from his pace, strength and heading ability to become a genuine force to be reckoned with in the country’s top tier and for the Chilean national side for whom he has won 36 caps.

      Maxi Moralez, 28, Winger

      Maxi Moralez is deployed on the right side of Atalanta’s front three and has been the side’s greatest creative force so far this season, providing four assists – the joint highest in 2015/16’s Serie A.

      The Argentine has also fashioned an impressive 20 goalscoring opportunities during the opening eight fixtures, putting him level with Roma’s Miralem Pjanic as the second most prolific player in this department, only marginally behind Napoli’s in-form Lorenzo Insigne.

      This is the 28-year-old’s fifth season in Bergamo after spending the majority of his career with Buenos Aires-based outfits Racing Club and Velez Sarsfield, except for a one-year spell at FK Moscow.

      Currently thriving as a wide forward in Edy Reja’s offensive 4-3-3 formation, Moralez’ versatility has seen him excel also as a trequartista or secondary striker.

      Marten de Roon, 24, Midfielder

      Marten de Roon has made a significant defensive contribution in Atalanta’s midfield since joining in the summer from Heerenveen.

      Deployed just in front of the back four, the Dutchman has made the most amount of tackles for his side this season (28), while also intercepting the highest number of opposition passes (23).

      The 24-year-old has undoubtedly played his part in the Nerazzurri’s impressive record of conceding only eight goals in as many games in this year’s Serie A, the joint third lowest in the league.

      A product of Sparta Rotterdam’s youth academy, de Roon went on to represent the side in the Eredivisie before switching to Heerenveen in 2012, where he established himself as a mainstay in the middle of the park until this summer’s transfer to Bergamo.

      The midfielder also found the net in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Cittadella in the Coppa Italia third round back in August.

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