Our usual go-to source for reliable information — as “reliable” as any football media report can get, to be fair — Matt Law from the Daily Telegraph has joined the rumor party building around an alleged Juventus interest in Alvaro Morata, with the Old Lady supposedly entertaining the idea of reacquiring the striker who made his name while on loan in Turin from Real Madrid.
But Law’s report seems very much based on a much more dubious bit of speculative news from Rai Sport — he cites Corriere dello Sport, but they cite Mundo Deportivo, who certainly weren’t first either. In any case, the idea, buried beneath multiple layers of IFs and maybes, is that IF Mario Mandzukic were to leave Juve and IF Chelsea were willing to entertain the idea of selling Morata just 12 months after bringing him in, then maybe this could just maybe become a possibility.
Alas, it’s a slow midweek Chelsea news day, with the club not involved in the Champions League’s business end and Conte’s sacking thoroughly debunked yesterday. What else is there to talk about?
In fairness to the rumour mongers, the idea of Morata leaving Chelsea isn’t necessarily the most far-fetched.
The 25-year-old has had an adequate but thoroughly unspectacular start to life in English football despite an initially fantastic return of 9 goals in the Premier League before the start of December, as well as the first goal in our Champions League away win against Atletico Madrid, arguably our best display of the season. However, since then, it's been just 2 in 12 league games for the Spaniard, a period which has been riddled with displays illustrating low confidence, ill discipline, and wastefulness, not to mention injuries and life-changing events off the pitch.
While there are definitely areas in which the striker can and needs to improve in, such as his hold up play and the general physical aspect of his game, he should very well be capable of doing so. This isn’t another Torres situation, with the Blues stuck with an aging, declining, high-priced center forward. We have a genuinely high quality striker on our hands and, and, lest we forget, Didier Drogba's first season wasn't exactly prolific either — you may be sick of hearing this comparison, but it fits just the same.
Consequently, whether this reported Juventus interest is genuine or not, Chelsea shouldn't even for a second consider selling Morata as it would be extremely difficult to acquire a replacement of his caliber and quality in this upcoming summer which will not only pose a challenge due to other possible high profile departures in form of Hazard or Courtois, but also due to a comparatively short transfer period combined with a prior World Cup.
We all would have loved for Alvaro keep up those early performances the rest of the season, but similar assessment could be made about nearly everyone else at the club, too. We have faith that Morata will “come good”, as they say, and live up to his billing as Chelsea’s record signing. He does have 14 goals, after all, in his first-ever season as the feature center forward at a top team, and that’s just one less than his best season at Juventus, where the pressures may have been just a little more manageable.
Keep the faith, Alvaro!