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Azpilicueta, Pedro praise in-form Morata

“He is a very important player for us”

Chelsea v Southampton - The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Cesar Azpilicueta believes it is unfair to compare Alvaro Morata with the likes of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa, two very different strikers from Chelsea’s current first-choice center forward.

Maybe a better comparison would be Fernando Torres? But Azpilicueta would reject that one, surely, as well. If he did, given Morata’s recent return to goalscoring form, he’d probably also be correct in doing so.

“I don’t like comparisons. Everyone has to work his own path. [Drogba and Costa] had different qualities and personalities. It’s unfair to talk about those two big players and Álvaro. Álvaro walks his own path. He came to a new country and I’m sure, with the way that he is working, he will get the reward.

“The goals help a lot because we know strikers — they live for goals. We know that gives him more confidence, he has been playing well, finding opportunities. Sometimes the ball does not go in, but I’m happy with his work, his progress. We know that last season was a tough one for him, but he is a very important player for us.”

-César Azpilicueta; source: Evening Standard

The goals have indeed helped Morata’s confidence. With five goals in his last seven games in all competitions, he’s vaulted back ahead of Olivier Giroud in the depth chart. In fact, with a 1-in-2 strike rate in the Premier League, he’s suddenly just two behind the league leaders — Hazard, Aguero, and Aubameyang all have seven.

While Sarri maintained some reservation in his assessment of Morata’s recent performances, Azpilicueta was joined in effusive post-match praise by Pedro as well. Certainly, all of Morata’s teammates should be happy when he scores — it tends to bode well for Chelsea. We’ve lost only two games in which he scored, his very first against Burnley when he was a substitute and Chelsea were down a man then two, and the once-in-a-lifetime 3-1 reverse against Spurs at the Bridge, both last season.

“[Álvaro] is in good condition and he had a very good performance [against Crystal Palace]. He has the mentality to score goals and help the team, that’s the best way for him.

“We are happy because he’s a very good striker. He runs a lot and scores goals, now he’s in a very good moment so this is the way for him. Scoring goals is very important for him and the team.”

-Pedro; source: Chelsea FC

When Morata’s scoring, everyone’s happy.

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