By, Navaneeth Ravichandran (Twitter: @navrav28)
It’s officially done, Alvaro Morata is now a Chelsea player. Although a transfer fee (club record 70 million pounds) with Real Madrid was officially reached last week, personal terms still had to be agreed upon. With that process now over, we can now proudly say Morata is a Chelsea player. My colleague, Lukonde Jr., penned an article on the transfer saga surrounding Morata (which you can find here). This article takes a closer look at the actual aspects of Morata’s game, and how exactly he benefits the blues.
Goals, Goals, and more Goals!
Morata is a proven, consistent scorer. He has played for two major European clubs, Juventus and his parent club Real Madrid, and he managed to find the back of the net on a regular basis despite irregular playing time. Last season was a particular achievement, as Morata scored 15 league goals, just second on Madrid behind Ronaldo, despite the fact that he only played 26 games, and only started 14 of them. As the following tweet shows, Morata can score with the best of the best.
Álvaro Morata: Only Lionel Messi (every 76.5 mins) scored more frequently than Morata (every 88.7 mins) in La Liga last season (5+ goals) pic.twitter.com/fCwQZtkhVS
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 17, 2017
Lukaku is a clinical finisher, Aubemeyang has incredible pace, Lewandowski is arguably the world’s best poacher; when it comes to strikers some of the world’s best have skills they are known for. It’s the first thing about their game that jumps out, and the first thing that opposing managers try to negate. With Morata, there is no single one skill that jumps out, because he can quite literally do it all. He can play the target man role, holding up the ball and battling in the air. He can play the through man, using his excellent movement and pace to get behind backlines. He rarely gets tired, even with his above average work rate. Morata is an extremely versatile striker, and at 24 years old will likely only get better.
Playing the game of football at the highest level isn’t just about having the physical skill to do it. Do be a winner, you have to have a winning mentality. When the game is late, and it’s crunch time, players must have the mental fortitude to not break down. Morata? He’s a proven winner. For a team like Chelsea that have just won the league, and will be looking to make a deep run in Champion’s League as well, Morata will have the opportunity to be a leader on the pitch.
Ambassador for the Community
A team like Chelsea shouldn’t just be focused on winning trophies, some effort has to be made to be great community ambassadors as well. Millions around the world look up to the team and its players as role models, and in Morata, Chelsea will be getting a fantastic role model. In 2014, Morata shaved his head completely bald, so children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy would be able to brag that they had the same hairstyle as their Real Madrid ideal. It may only be a small gesture, but such moves convey class and integrity.
What I find incredibly ironic is that Morata was actually Conte’s second choice striker. Romelu Lukaku was his first choice. Mourinho, the man who ended up getting Lukaku, admitted that Morata would have been his first choice, not Lukaku. Such is the way football can play out. The battle between Morata and Lukaku to see who will score more goals will be heavily publicized this season, and I have complete confidence in our Spanish striker.
Thumbnail image courtesy of: Chelsea FC
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