Álvaro Morata’s season of discontent took a turn towards physical, not just emotional pain on Thursday, as he was forced to leave at half-time against Vidi FC with an apparent knee injury, the severity of which is still being evaluated. Depending on the results, Morata’s season, and in turn Chelsea’s, could turn out in drastically different ways.
Even if he’s only forced to miss a few games or a few weeks, Morata’s future at Chelsea seems far from assured. Exit rumors have recently picked up once again — did they ever go away really? — with a fancy new flavor added to them in the form of a certain FC Barcelona. Sounds a bit of a stretch for a former Real Madrid academy star, but it’s getting a bit of play in Catalan media, usually presented from the angle of Luis Suarez aging out soon (ol’ Bitey, soon to be 32, has “just” 10 goals in 19 games this season, which is a poor return compared to his previous four seasons at Barca).
Morata’s international teammate Jordi Alba would of course have nothing negative to say if he was ever asked about this outlandish possibility. It would be quite silly for Alba to say anything other than the usual standard answer.
“Morata is a player that I appreciate a lot, he has been a top player for many years. At the end, it’s the club’s [decision] if they want to sign him or not, as with any other player.”
“If the rumours are true, he would be very welcome, as all the new players [are].”
-Jordi Alba; source: FourFourTwo
Whether Morata stays or goes, Chelsea’s striker situation is likely to see a few changes in the next month or six.
Giroud’s contract is expiring. Batshuayi could return in January. Meanwhile, young Tammy Abraham is pouring in the goals at Aston Villa — he’s been linked with a shock recall or perhaps even a switch to Crystal Palace?
And those are just names currently on Chelsea’s books.
The English press continue to link Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson with the Blues. Wilson’s having a bit of a breakout season at 26, having already equaled his career best Premier League goals total of 8 — only Harry Kane, Mo Salah, and Aubameyang have more this season — and is thus making the rounds of the rumor mill. Five years ago, Wilson was playing third division football; now he’s supposedly worth £30m.
And if all that wasn’t silly enough, the Gonzalo Higuaín rumors have reappeared from fair Italia, not six months after Chelsea opted to sign him despite the endorsement of new head coach Maurizio Sarri. Higuaín landed in Milan instead, but the Rossoneri are unlikely to take up their buy-option, which would leave the 31-year-old a rather unwanted man. Chelsea are one of the obvious teams who could pay his outrageous salary still, but given his age and the financial commitment (and his middling form), this one we can (hopefully) safely ignore as well.
https://t.co/CnYgbfwHS8 RAI - Il Milan non riscatterà Higuain: l'argentino attirato dalla corte di Sarri al Chelsea— Spazio Napoli (@Spazio_Napoli) December 14, 2018
Chelsea’s striker situation does need fixing, but there are surely better options out there for us.