Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has refused to give up hope in their pursuit for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, despite reportedly having bids rejected previously.
Madrid signed the Spanish international this summer after triggering his buyback clause in his contract. Morata finalised a move to Spain for just £23million and it has been widely reported they want to immediately sell their new man for a hefty profit.
With Diego Costa possibly moving back to Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are looking to sign a new striker. Morata remains first choice but Belgian international Romelu Lukaku who left the Blues in 2014 has been seen as a viable back-up option if they fail to agree terms with Madrid.
Chelsea have already signed one striker this summer after securing the services of Michy Batshuayi for a fee of £33million. Although they still have Spanish international Costa in their ranks, they appear to be in the market for one more prolific striker ahead of the new season, as uncertainty remains over the future of Costa.
Morata has been on the lips of everyone this summer, he showcased his ability for Juventus last season and one performance that really stood out was his individual performance against Bayern Munich last season at the Allianz arena, there are few players as gifted as Morata and he certainly showcased it that day. Morata often impresses on big European nights and he typified the Juventus courage in their loss to Bayern. Morata single handily demolished the Bayern back line with delightful skills and high pressure, he made their defence surrender into making mistakes, which led to the forward bagging a deserved assist.
Another big occasion which Morata thrived off was in the Coppa Italia final, Morata came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 110th minute to win 1–0 against AC Milan.
A clear weakness of the 23-year-old is his killer instinct in front of goal, scoring just 15 goals in two seasons in Italy, it will have come as no surprise if many clubs didn’t want him because of that record. But, he still oozes brilliance and the goal-scoring will surely follow as he matures. He is still very young and will no doubt flourish and realise his potential as he moves into his peak years. Standing at 6ft 2′, he uses his power and pace to get at defenders and uses his trickery to dazzle defences.
Morata is well suited to many roles he is told to play in, a well-rounded forward, Morata is of course best in his natural role as a main striker, but he has superb traits in linking up play between the lines and can often drift out wide to collect the ball if needs be.
Morata has many aspects to his game, he is very good in the air and can hold up the ball with neat close control, quick feet and excellent movement sees Morata shine on the pitch, with a clinical presence hopefully to follow soon. The Chelsea and Arsenal target stood out for his energy and work-rate on the pitch, and although I have talked a lot about his lack of killer instinct, he has scored several crucial goals due to his positional brilliance.
How different is he to Diego Costa?
Diego Costa has a real eye for goal and has impressed in his short time in England thus far, his finishing stands out over Morata, managing 36 goals in 78 appearances for Chelsea since arriving from Atletico. The Blues forward has a real tendency to make a key pass and this is seen as a real strength of Costa’s play. He has an obvious weakness though and that is his offside awareness which could certainly annoy Conte, with the Spaniard’s attitude deemed lazy at times.
His stature and physical style of play which saw him settle very well in England. His style of play suits the Premier League down to the ground. The 27-year-old has strong dribbling abilities which has helped him out massively in his career, as he can also create chances for himself and not rely on his team-mates. Although he doesn’t possess dazzling skills, Costa uses his strength to glide past defenders, and when he is in form, there are few defenders in Europe that are capable of stopping him.
The real question most Chelsea fans will be thinking is can Costa play with his Spanish compatriot Morata, or will a move to Stamford Bridge open up the exit door for Costa? If the duo combine well they’d stand a great chance of winning the league. Here are the latest Premier League odds.
Both players possess unique abilities in their game and are near enough different on every level. Unlike Morata, Costa is a mean striker with a killer instinct in and around the 18-yard box. Morata drops deep and plays as number 10 at times as he is most comfortable when collecting the ball, whilst Costa often sticks between the centre-backs and looks to finish off counter attacks. Both bring different traits to their game and it would be welcomed at Chelsea as they would benefit from playing together, with Morata dropping off and feeding Costa. But, contrary to reports suggesting Costa will stay with the arrival of Morata I cannot personally see it happening.
Chelsea have just signed a very young exciting striker in Batshuayi who scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season. At the tender age of just 22 Batshuayi is already a mature clinical presence. He is strong and fast, similar to Morata and he’s quick and deceptive with his feet. He will love the skill and speed of the Premier League.
He has already developed into a very mature and instinctive finisher with fantastic movement in and around the penalty box – I don’t think he will be happy on the bench.
Chelsea will find it hard to fit all three players into the squad and keep each of them happy, Conte is even looking internally with Ruben Loftus-Cheek allegedly learning to play as a striker, he has previously played predominantly in central midfield.
The arrival of Morata could see his Spanish teammate depart London, Costa has come under strong criticism of late due to his “foul” play and seemed very unhappy last season. Atletico are desperate to land their former star and a return to Vicente Calderón Stadium could certainly be on the cards this summer after just two years away.
Perhaps Batshuayi and Morata could be the new strike partnership in a 3-5-2 formation for Conte?