Ex-Atalanta fullback Joakim Maehle hits out at Gian Piero Gasperini

BERGAMO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 19: Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta BC celebrates with teammate Joakim Maehle after scoring their side's first goal during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and US Lecce at Gewiss Stadium on February 19, 2023 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Wolfsburg fullback Joakim Maehle was critical of his former manager at Atalanta, Gian Piero Gasperini, following his departure from the club last month.

The Dane left La Dea after two sides and joined the German side for a fee just above €12 million in total.

“I needed a change of scenery,” began Maehle in an interview with Tipsbladet. “The manager (Gasperini) decided everything, it was almost a dictatorial approach.”

“Bergamo was a nice place with great weather but there wasn’t time to enjoy it because we spent so much time training and at the facility.”

“You feel like a number there, just another name in a queue—you don’t feel like a person. There isn’t any sort of relationship with the manager.”

He continued, “For example, I would drive (Rasmus) Hojlund to training when he first arrived at the club. We’d chat and enjoy ourselves but Gasperini told me he didn’t want this even though I told the club I’d drive him since they didn’t appoint a driver for him (Hojlund).”

Finally, “After awhile you get tired of this. Mentally it was obvious to me that I needed a change of environment.”