Alvaro Morata plans to establish himself as the focal point of the Chelsea attack, with the Spanish striker insisting he never considered the prospect of leaving the club.
After a bright start at Stamford Bridge, Morata struggled for form and ended up registering just 11 goals in 30 appearances in his debut Blues campaign. The last summer saw the 25-year-old striker miss out on the Spain squad for the World Cup and speculation surrounding his future at West London flared up when he spent much of the off-season in Italy, where he was seen with his agent and Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici in Milan.
Yet no move materialised for the forward and instead, he started all three competitive games with Maurizio Sarri at the helm and finally broke his goal-scoring duck in their win against Arsenal, with the striker displaying the pace, strength, skill and poise under pressure to slot in his side’s second goal – a stark reminder of why Chelsea had paid £58 million to sign him from Real Madrid.
Speaking after the match, Morata said he never intended to seek pastures new and maintained he is fully committed to the West London club. “For me, it’s easy. I could have gone back to Spain or Italy, all the people believe in me there, but I want to change things here,” said the Spaniard. “I want to, not for all the haters, but for me and for Chelsea. Chelsea gave me everything that I needed and now I have time to give back all that Chelsea give me.”
Morata, who was described by former head coach Antonio Conte as “polite“, added his style of play suits new head coach Maurizio Sarri’s system more than the one he experienced under Conte. “The most important thing is the way we play. Last season it was direct balls and for me to protect the ball in the air is not my best quality. Now I can attack the space, I can play one touch and go in the area for the crosses. It’s better for me.”
His strike against the Gunners was his first for Chelsea since April Fools’ but Morata insisted he would trade goals for silverware under the new coach Sarri. “He [Sarri] works with the ball always and when you always have the ball the strikers have more chances,” said the Spaniard. “I want to score more than 30 goals, but I would prefer to score 15 or 20 and get the Premier League or one big trophy.”