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Anorak | Transfer balls: Betting on Morata cost Chelsea £60m and Diego Costa

Transfer balls: Betting on Morata cost Chelsea £60m and Diego Costa

by | 9th, May 2018

Arsenal fans are not the only one bemoaning Olivier Giroud’s move to Chelsea. The Frenchman is making Álvaro Morata look limper than a three-legged donkey.

It all looked so promising for Chelsea when Morata arrived from Real Madrid last summer for a club record fee of £60m. “Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset,” said Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo. Pat Nevin said Chelsea fans would be “smiling and punching the air” at getting Morata. They weren’t being glib. The season before he joined Chelsea, Morata scored 15 goals from 55 shots in La Liga. That works out to an impressive 27% conversion rate – the highest of any striker to score 10 or more goals in La Liga in 2016-17. He scored one goal for every 89 minutes playing time.

Now you look at him and wonder where it all went wrong. Chelsea sold Diego Costa – feisty, angry, galvanising and solid – and bought Morata – flaky, subdued and uninspiring. In October 2017, the striker told Italy’s Gazzetta that he did not see himself living in London “for very long”. He later panicked and said he’s sign a 10-year contract if he was offered one. He won’t be.

But Juventus, where Morata played with no little success, want him back. News is that Juventus have £60m earmarked for Morata’s transfer. Will Chelsea accept? And what does Morata leaving mean for manager Antonio Conte, of whom Morata said:

“Conte is the manager who most ‘bet’ on me, without even ever having had me in his team. I’m very conscious of that. He bet on me for Juventus but left before I arrived, then he wanted me at Chelsea come what may. He knows me better than I could imagine, I’m sure, and that’s important. It motivates you to work hard, train well.

“I feel indebted to him because he’s the coach that most trusted in me, most wanted me, who made me feel I could perform at the highest level. And yet I’ve never had the fortune to actually work with him. I’m sure sooner or later I will.”

It’s a bet Conte lost.



Posted: 9th, May 2018 | In: Chelsea, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink