The top-flight striker Alvaro Morato passed his medical on 21 July to officially join the blues and complete a £70 million, five-year transfer from Real Madrid. He made his preseason training debut with Chelsea in Singapore on 23 July.
Expectations are high for Morata, who will wear the number 9 jersey while roaming the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
Although he made just 14 appearances for the Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid last season, Morata netted 15 scores and helped the Spanish side capture the Champions League title for the second year running. His average of one goal every 89 minutes was second to only Lionel Messi in La Liga.
He arrives at Chelsea with a very similar assignment. Score big, score often and bring home a consecutive Premier League crown.
However, despite Morata’s pedigree and recent performance, it’s impossible to forecast the impact he will have at this juncture. The price Chelsea was willing to pay demonstrates a tremendous confidence in the 24-year-old Spaniard, but it’s a coin toss nevertheless.
Chock it up to the time of year. From a packed field of favourites at the U.S. Open to eye-raising player transfers in the Premier League before the deadline, August is shaping up to be a risk-taking month in sports.
The most immediate challenge for the pre-season Chelsea squad is filling the offensive void created by the absences of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, a pairing who combined for 36 goals last year.
Manager Antonio Conte has indicated there is no longer a role for Costa, who is all but out the door on his way to Atletico Madrid. Hazard continues with rehab from ankle surgery, and we likely won’t see him playing time until September.
But no one is more prepared to embark on the mission than Morata. He has already declared that he joins the
A battle cry that is sure to resonate with all the Chelsea fans.
Morata’s transfer to The Blues was a deal that almost never happened. Manchester United was heavily courting him for much of the summer while Chelsea had an eye on Belgian sniper Romelu Lakaku.
However, as fate would have it, The Red Devils failed to negotiate an acceptable fee for Morata and swooped in on Lakaku instead, clearing the way for Morata to head to Stamford Bridge.
The stars are also aligning perfectly on two of Morata’s personal objectives — to play Premier League football and play for an Antonio Conte directed side.
Morata and Conte narrowly escaped a connection in 2014 when the former arrived at Juventus as the latter departed for Italy.
Chelsea has much riding on Morata. The club has experienced some upheaval since conquering the league, and it’s not always easy being the new guy in town charged with picking up the pieces.
Undoubtedly, Morata understands the opportunity he’s presented with in the current Chelsea situation and will attack the pitch with fervour on match days. His story will be interesting to watch as the Premier League season unfolds.