Since that penalty miss at Wembley which saw Chelsea lose the Community Shield, Alvaro Morata has been under heavy scrutiny from rival fans. Yet the 24 year-old has not looked back since the start of the league season.
Considered a winner with lots of trophies and experience playing with the very best, Morata entered the Premier League a man with nothing more to prove. Having lifted every major trophy available at both Real Madrid and Juventus combined, a new challenge awaited in England with Antonio Conte. Having shown Diego Costa the door, Conte was now looking for his new man to step in to some very big shoes.
Alvaro Morata better suited for Chelsea than Diego Costa?
With the season now underway, it has become increasingly clear that the Spaniard will have no problem doing just that, if not more. In comparison to his international compatriot, Morata adds a different dimension to Chelsea’s attack, one even Costa failed to achieve. Where Costa excelled in his hold-up play and ability to bully defenders, Morata’s more skilful and technical side of the game integrates well with Chelsea’s system. Instead of wanting to face the ball, Morata tends to run in behind the defence, causing immediate problems and allowing the likes of Cesc Fabregas as well as the wing backs to launch through balls towards him.
Alvaro Morata has scored three goals and grabbed two assists in five games, and remarkably all with his head. His presence in the six-yard box is vital for the Blues and his recent goal against Leicester City proved exactly why. When Cesar Azpilecueta crossed the ball in, Morata left Wes Morgan, not a feeble centre-back by any means, on the floor as he beat him with pace and power to direct the header into the back of the net.
It’s his technical ability that will prove to be valuable at Stamford Bridge too, as he already has shown signs of great link up play with his teammates. With Eden Hazard coming back to full fitness too, expect the pair to combine for some stunning football. Throw the likes of Fabregas, Willian and Pedro in there too and the style of play Chelsea have will be very different to what we’ve seen in seasons before.
Morata has positive impact on Chelsea both on and off the pitch!
Not only will Morata have a positive impact on the pitch, but his off-the-field ethics will play a part too. Whilst Costa was certainly a great goalscorer, he was consistently on the wrong side of the referee, having been booked 28 times in his 3 seasons at the club. On top of that Costa missed 12 games due to suspension. With the controversy caused around Costa, the Chelsea’s likeability was damaged as a result and many clubs considered their game to be “dirty” and “reckless” due to Costa’s actions. However, with Morata coming in, the reputation of the club may well change for the better.
The former Real Madrid star has a reserved personality, scores goals, creates chances and involves the team around him. No longer are Chelsea relying on a brute force to compete, but rather a traditional centre forward who can complement the team. There’s no doubt his shirt sales will be through the roof too, especially considering how humble and likeable he is and how Chelsea can be the platform for him to be the world’s best number 9 within the next few seasons.
Antonio Conte deserves a lot of credit to have signed such a valuable asset in the summer, especially as he missed out on Romelu Lukaku – which could still prove to be a blessing in disguise. Morata may well be the proper centre-forward Chelsea have yearned for since the likes of Didier Drogba. However, he may come in a more elegant and stylish package.