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Congerton, that’s who the new Atalanta talent scout is

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The Welshman will oversee the development of the Nerazzurri’s sports area with particular attention to the European market and beyond

“When you watch a game, you have to feel the intensity flowing through your body. Like when you go on a date. I always tell my scouts.” The quote is not from Lee Congerton, but if the 48-year-old Welshman has been the international development manager of the Atalanta sports area since yesterday, it is also due to these words. We will get there later. The news tells us that the former Leicester manager yesterday entered Zingonia for the first time in an operational capacity, after having witnessed the match against Roma at the Olimpico on Saturday together with the CEO. Luca Percassi and then returned to Bergamo with the team. “We are sure – declared Luca Percassi in welcoming the newcomer – that Congerton will be an added value in the development of the international dimension of our club and, precisely for this reason, we have decided to focus on a profile like his”. But who is Lee Congerton?

The climb

We are between the 80s and 90s in Rhyl, North East Wales. Lee is one of the many young people who dreams of making it into football. He will also arrive to sign a professional contract at Crewe Alexandra, but only shortly before hanging up his boots and walking behind the desk. The passion for football was transmitted to him by dad Dave, legend of little Rhyl Fc. He plays and studies, reaching his degree. The first meeting that will change his life is with Brian Flynn. A former Leeds, Flynn is a player-manager at Wrexham at the end of his career, where he shares the locker room with Congerton. He quickly realizes that the boy is smart and smart. And when Lee quits playing football due to injuries, he offers him a coaching position in the youth sector. Thus began the career of the Congerton manager. Wrexham is the first step of the climb. In 2002 he was at Liverpool, then in 2004 he landed at Chelsea, at the dawn of the Abramovich era, with Mourinho. Congerton starts as a youth coach, but with the arrival of Frank Arnesen as ds he is promoted to Head of youth and senior scouting. The sentence with which we opened this article is precisely from Arnesen, who a few years earlier had been named “Best ds in the world” after having brought young people like Ronaldo, Stam and Robben to the PSV. The Dane recognizes the sacred fire in Lee and before taking a player, he sends him to the “gallant” appointment in the fields around the world. Thus, among many others, Congerton launches our Borini and Jacopo Sala in the football that counts. At Chelsea, then, he met Brendan Rodgers, then coach of the reserve team. We will find him again.

From Hamburg to the Goddess

In 2011 Lee followed Arnesen to Hamburg as technical director and sponsored the purchase of Calhanoglu, then a budding talent at Karlsruhe, German Serie C. In 2014 he returned to the United Kingdom, to Sunderland, where as ds he will remember Borini bringing him to the Black Cats. So in 2017 he reunites with his friend Rodgers at Celtic. The partnership is reformed in 2019 at Leicester, where Congerton is the Head of Senior Recruitment and brings to sign purchases of cry as Tielemans, Castagne, Fofana, Justin (from the English C) and Daka. Now the “gallant” appointment is even with a Goddess. “I don’t like to talk about who I am, because I believe that work is the best way to make myself known”, his first words at Atalanta. They may not be as romantic as Arnesen’s, but they are already hooked.

8 March – 09:59