Chelsea’s £75 million record signing hasn’t found the net since Boxing Day. We question if the Spanish superstar can bounce back in the second half of his debut season.
Álvaro Morata missed out on Chelsea’s 4-0 demolition of Brighton following his petulant red card against Norwich in the midweek FA Cup replay. A first caution was awarded for diving in the 120th minute, which Morata then reacted furiously to, giving the referee no choice but to show him a second yellow card for dissent. This incident epitomised the recent form of the Spain international, who has registered just 4 league goals in 14 games. The dynamic duo of Eden Hazard and Willian dismantled the Seagulls on Saturday, indicating that this Chelsea team doesn’t lack firepower in Morata’s absence. The Blues’ made it eight consecutive wins against Brighton with a convincing clean sheet in the process, as Betsafe’s Premier League football betting tips predicted.
A penalty shoot-out was required to finally see off a resilient Norwich team. Image via Twitter.
It hasn’t always been doom and gloom for Morata as he started the season with 6 league goals in as many games. A clinical hat-trick at the Britannia saw him almost single-handedly dissect Stoke City‘s physically gruelling defence. Furthermore, he did so in complete contrast to the way in which his predecessor, Diego Costa, would have applied himself. Morata showcased poacher’s instincts and a delightful first touch, as well as a stunning solo goal, which demonstrated a remarkable turn of pace.
Yet, almost four months down the line, we find ourselves questioning the physical aspect of Morata’s game. Blues‘ fans grew accustomed to witnessing the bullish Diego Costa shrug off the kicks and bruises of the Premier League in last year’s title-winning campaign. It is worth noting, however, that Morata has astonishingly already played more league minutes than in each of his past seasons. With 15 games still to come in the league alone, the ex-Read Madrid and Juventus man will likely be missing those winter breaks he grew used to.
If his recent demise is due to fitness then rotation may hold the key to the Chelsea No. 9 rediscovering his best. With Michy Batshuayi out of favour, manager Antonio Conte should look to add another striking option before the January transfer window closes. The Italian has taken centre-stage in this months‘ gossip columns with surprise links to West Ham‘s injury-ridden Andy Carroll and Stoke’s 36-year old Peter Crouch. The latest interest in Roma‘s rejuvenated Edin Džeko will definitely provide more optimism among the Chelsea faithful. The Bosnian has been proven to score goals in England’s top flight, as well as the Champions League, which Stamford Bridge witnessed first hand as his stunning brace earnt Roma a 3-3 draw earlier this season.
Whether it’s Edin Džeko, Christian Benteke or even a comeback from Michy Batshuayi, there is little doubt that a fresh, firing back-up would provide Morata with the necessary pressure and rest to return to his best. Conte must keep the faith in his record signing regardless, as confidence will be pivotal as the Spaniard attempts to fire himself back into form.