Álvaro Morata is set to return to Spain after a rather unhappy 18 months at Stamford Bridge, the last of which he spent largely on the sidelines despite not having any major fitness issues. He had made just three appearances since the second week of December, two wholly ineffective ones in the league and one in the FA Cup where he bagged a brace and looked miserable in doing so.
As it turns out, that was because the last thing he wanted to be doing at that point, on the fifth day of the January transfer window, is still playing for Chelsea Football Club. As head coach Maurizio Sarri revealed after the cameras were turned off in yesterday’s press conference, Morata had made it clear in December already that he wanted to leave.
“Morata, one month ago, said he wanted to play in another team. So it was really very difficult for him to give us the 100 per cent for his mental situation, I think.
“But I think that Morata is potentially a very important player. From the physical and technical point of view, he is a very good player and suitable for my football. But the situation changed in the last month. So we needed to change.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Telegraph
Even when Morata’s head was in the game, his performances weren’t exactly up to snuff, so it’s hardly surprising that Sarri mostly just left him out completely since December 8. Fortunately, Chelsea managed to get a replacement to please the head coach, and engineer a move for Morata as well (though his loan to Atlético Madrid is yet to be confirmed).
“As you know very well, I don’t want to follow the market day by day. I don’t know the actual situation. Morata told me 10 days ago that there was an opportunity in Spain, but I don’t know where.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Goal
Unfortunately for Álvaro, since Atléti only agreed to a loan with a €50m option to buy, if he wants to make sure he never has to come back to Chelsea, he’s going to have to do the one thing he’s failed to do consistently in over a year, score goals.