Alvaro Morata has had a difficult time at Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2017. It was considered the striker’s best opportunity of proving that he belongs as a starter for an elite club. This came after spells with Real Madrid and Juventus. During this period, he gained a reputation of being an excellent substitute, capable of turning a game in favour of his team. However, his inconsistency and poor overall contribution meant that he couldn’t break into the starting eleven at either club.
The Spanish international became frustrated at this and chose to leave Real Madrid for Chelsea. It was a great opportunity for him, as he would likely be the regular starter at Stamford Bridge. Diego Costa had previously taken that responsibility, but he fell out with Antonio Conte and was sold to Atletico Madrid. It was a mixed start for Morata with the Blues, as he showed flashes of his ability, but also frustrated at times. During his first campaign, he contributed 11 goals and six assists, a respectable haul, but not one good enough for an elite forward.
There was talk that Morata would be moved on during the summer, with lots of European clubs being linked with a move. Maurizio Sarri was brought in as Chelsea manager, and that provided the striker with a new opportunity. It hasn’t been one taken straight away, but there have been encouraging signs during recent weeks that suggest the 26-year-old could yet be a success in West London.
Since the international break, Morata has been a regular starter for Chelsea, and his record of three goals in 9 Premier League matches provides him with a platform. His finishing has been sketchy, but it appears that his confidence is increasing under Sarri and his numbers in front of goal are likely to improve if that is the case. The Spaniard is attempting 2.3 shots per game, but that is likely to increase as the team starts to create more chances.
It is unlikely that Morata will ever fulfil the potential that he had as a young player. His confidence looks to be affected by his career path to date. Real Madrid and Juventus both didn’t believe in the striker as a starting player. As a result, the Spanish international started to doubt his own ability to be a success at the highest level. That is evident in his finishing, especially when he has time to think about his shot.
That said, there remains a talented player in Morata. Sarri believes that, as Chelsea weren’t in the market for a new striker during the summer. The emergence of Ross Barkley and the improvement of Eden Hazard has led to the Blues having a feared attack, which can create lots of chances. Morata has to prove that he is the man to spearhead the team ahead of the new year. If he does, he could revive his career at Stamford Bridge.