Mario Pašalić played a key role in Atalanta’s best-ever finish last season, and was widely expected to continue with them next season as well. But in a somewhat surprise development, he will do so just on loan once again despite a €15m buy-option that was included in last year’s arrangement.
Both Atalanta and Chelsea confirmed the loan extension this afternoon — first rumored a couple weeks ago — alongside a new three-year contract extension for the 24-year-old Croatia international, which does ensure in theory that Chelsea can either sell or keep in the future (as opposed to just letting a talented player walk for free).
‘Super Mario’ made 33 Serie A appearances (8 goals and 3 assists) and will be looking to make a similar impact as Atalanta enter the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Pašalić had talked about wanting to be done with the loan life after five different teams in the last five years, since signing with Chelsea in 2014, but now he’s set to stay in the Loan Army for at least one more year — though he doesn’t have to move leagues or even cities this time! It’s some semblance of stability for him, after all.
Good luck, Mario! Maybe we’ll see each other in the Champions League this season?
Congratulations, Mario!— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 3, 2019