Since hooking up with Gian Piero Gasperini's side in Serie A, however, he has flourished in the Italian’s entertaining side, becoming a key part of their midfield to help them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history last season.
As part of an option within his loan deal, Atalanta have triggered a clause to sign him permanently after two seasons of success.
"We thank Mario for his service to the club and wish him the best of luck for the next chapter of his career," Chelsea said in a statement.
#SuperMario resta con noi! 🦸🏼♂️🇭🇷— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) June 22, 2020
Il centrocampista croato acquistato a titolo definitivo!
Mario #Pašalić stays with us! 🖤💙
Our #88 is an #Atalanta player on a permanent basis!#GoAtalantaGo ⚫️🔵 pic.twitter.com/6sHQhzjNSi
Atalanta announced the purchase on Twitter before releasing their own statement on the club website which read:
“Mario in these two years has given a significant contribution to achieving important targets such as qualifying for the UEFA Champions League last season and reaching the quarter-finals in the current edition.
“The Croatian midfielder has so far made 75 appearances with the Nerazzurri shirt, enhanced by 15 goals and 13 assists.”