The biggest concern for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea this summer has been the fact that Spanish international striker Diego Costa is out in the cold and seemingly heading for the Blues exit door this summer.
Replacing the former Atletico Madrid star was never going to be easy.
However, the Blues are on the verge of capturing a player that has the potential to fill the gap left by Costa. That player is Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.
The Blues have agreed a deal with the European champions of an initial fee of £58m, which could rise to £70m with add-ons. The signing of the 24-year-old is certainly a necessary one with Chelsea needing a top striker this summer.
Underused at Real Madrid
I am a big fan of Morata. The 24-year-old seems to have all the attributes to become a top class striker under the right conditions. However, some have criticised the Spaniard for his goal output in the last few seasons.
Last season was Morata’s most prolific campaign in front of goal when he netted 15 La Liga goals for Los Blancos. It is not an impressive record. However, there is a major factor in Morata’s record and that is the game time in Madrid.
Morata made just 26 appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s team last season. The fact that only 14 of those 26 appearances were from the start seem to paint a better picture of Morata’s situation in the Spanish capital.
The striker was always behind the BBC of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the pecking order. However, he still managed to score just five goals less than Costa did in the Premier League.
Morata has an impact when he plays
The Spanish international may have been in the shadow of the BBC last season, but when he did get the chance to play, he made a big impact. Only Ronaldo scored more goals than Morata for Zidane’s side last season.
In fact, Morata had the best goals per-minute record at Real, scoring every 89 minutes, while only Barcelona’s Lionel Messi had a better record in La Liga.
The striker’s statistics suggest that if plays every game, then his goalscoring record will be far superior to previous seasons. At Chelsea, he is likely to start every game up front and be the team’s main man, something he has not had in Madrid or at Juventus prior to his move to the capital.
Morata may take time to adapt to a new league. However, he has experience of playing in La Liga, Serie A and the Champions League, so he has had a varied career so far. The striker does seem to have the attributes to thrive in the English top-flight.
Chelsea needed to sign Morata
Chelsea were no doubt the best team in the Premier League last season. However, Costa’s likely exit was always going to prove a major problem. The Brazilian-born star was so crucial to the way the team played.
The Blues could not afford to lose their main striker and not replace him with a striker of a good calibre. Their rivals are strengthening their squads and teams, so Chelsea would have had a lot of work to do to win the league without a quality striker next season.
The Blues are odds of 7/2 to win the title next season. However, if Morata has can adapt to the Premier League in quick fashion then he could be just the player Chelsea needs to replace Diego Costa. They could prove to be a shrewd bet for the title.
Not many players could replace Diego Costa. However, Chelsea have signed a striker with quality, hunger and an eye for goal in Morata. I suspect Blues fans will be asking Diego who, in a couple of months’ time.
Is Alvaro Morata an adequate replacement for Diego Costa?
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