Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Alvaro Morata and backed the forward to become a key player for his side.
The Spain international came off the bench to set up Simone Zaza’s late sealer in a 3-0 win at Palermo in the Serie A on Sunday.
Despite much talk surrounding Morata’s future and a potential return to Real Madrid, Allegri said the 23-year-old could become a Juve star.
“In contrast to last season, when he was behind Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in the pecking order, Alvaro is one of our first-choice strikers this year,” Allegri told his post-match news conference.
“His assist for Simone Zaza’s strike was a sign of what he is capable of and he’ll become a key player for Juventus.”
Morata’s square pass for Zaza set up the 93rd-minute goal, after Mario Mandzukic and Stefano Sturaro had also struck in the second half.
The win was Juve’s fourth straight in the league and lifted them into fifth in the table after a slow start to the campaign, and Allegri is pleased with the progress his team have made.
“The boys played very well, particularly in terms of all the energy they put into the performance,” Allegri added.
“We might have taken the lead in the first half, but then we scored those three great goals after the break.
“We prepared for this match on Friday and the players are quick learners, which is very important.
“The team has made some notable steps forward of late. We’ve stepped up physically, we’re using the ball much better and we’re more compact.”