Chelsea assistant coach Carlo Cudicini has heaped praise on striker Alvaro Morata after the Spaniard struck a brace in the Blues’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Championship side Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Morata has been underwhelming in terms of his performances this season. He has only found the net five times from 16 Premier League appearances this season and has also picked up three yellow cards.

Morata’s lack of clinicalness in front of goal has led to manager Maurizio Sarri opting to utilise playmaker Eden Hazard in a false-nine role for big games. Not only is Morata struggling this season, he also failed to live up to expectations last term as he scored just 15 goals from 48 games in all competitions for the club.

The former Real Madrid attacker paid the price for his lack of form last term as he was omitted from the Spain 2018 World Cup squad last summer. It now looks likely that Morata simply does not fit into the Chelsea style of play. He is a talented player and may be able to thrive in another environment but the Blues need a striker who can score at least 20 goals a season.

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Nevertheless, it now does look likely that Morata will remain at the club till the end of the current campaign. Hopefully, the brace that he scored against Forest can give him the confidence to score more goals in upcoming games.

Cudicini said, as quoted by the Chelsea website: “I think Alvaro played an important part in today’s performance, he was very good in terms of working for the team, offensively but mainly defensively. It was very important for him to score two goals which can only be good for his confidence. We are all pleased with his performance but we were even when he didn’t score in previous games so hopefully it will be good for his morale that he scored, and hopefully he will be more free in his mind.

“Gianfranco Zola mentioned in the press conference before the match that for a striker it’s difficult when you go through a spell when you don’t score many goals, so his body language was a bit down, but in training he’s working very hard and we all knew that sooner or later he would be able to turn the corner and start scoring goals. Thankfully he did it today, it was very important because we really care about this competition and we want to do well.”