Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini fears they're going backwards after losing many of his young stars over the summer.
Gasperini guided the team to fourth last season.
“Last season was really exciting, and even in terms of results it'll be difficult to repeat it," Gasperini told Sky Italia.
“We know that, but now is not the time to set objectives, we'll find them by playing and doing. That was the case last year too, so we'll see what we can do.
“We've lost important midfielders from last year, so we'll have to understand how competitive we can be.
“Will Leonardo Spinazzola be crucial? That's indubitable given the season he had, just as Conti, Kessie and Gagliardini did.
“Losing these kind of players can happen, it's in the nature of this club to facilitate certain players who want to go to big clubs, but it's also true it could create a problem of being competitive.
“Of course I'd have liked them to stay, we'd be stronger. If we continue to lose players we must resize our expectations and our objectives."