Alvaro Morata: Chelsea fans will be punching the air – Pat Nevin

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Alvaro Morata scored 20 goals for Real Madrid last season

Chelsea fans will be “punching the air” after the club agreed a deal to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, says former Blues winger Pat Nevin.

Morata, 24, will discuss personal terms and have a medical after Real accepted an offer of about £60m for him.

Chelsea had previously tried to re-sign Romelu Lukaku, but the Belgium striker instead joined Manchester United.

“It’s not the one they were left with, it’s the one they wanted, absolutely,” Nevin told BBC Radio 5 live.

The deal was announced a day after manager Antonio Conte signed an improved contract with the Premier League champions.

“I’m going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me, and that’s great for me,” Morata told AS on Wednesday.

“It’s beginning to look like Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side,” said Nevin.

“And because he signed this new contract, it’s saying: ‘I believe in this, I want to be part of this.’ It didn’t seem like the case a couple of months ago.

“Now, most Chelsea fans will be smiling and punching the air, much the same way that I was.”

Morata would be Chelsea’s fourth signing of the summer, after goalkeeper Willy Caballero, defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Nevin said: “I wrote a piece on the Chelsea website about three months ago. I asked the fans: ‘Who would you like most as a centre-forward?’

“There were three names that came up. Number three was Lukaku, number two was [Alexis] Sanchez, and number one? Morata.”

‘Morata can get 15-20 goals for Chelsea’

Morata could replace Spain team-mate Diego Costa, who says he has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he is no longer in Chelsea’s plans.

Morata scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Juventus.

“I think he was the number one choice that Antonio Conte wanted,” said Nevin.

“I am not sure what’s going to be happening with Diego Costa. I think it’s quite unlikely he will stay with all the noises we’ve been hearing.

“Chelsea need a striker who can give you 15-20 goals a season.

“Put him in a team where you’ve got the likes of Cesc Fabregas, the likes of Eden Hazard giving you plenty of opportunities… Morata can do that.”


European football journalist Mina Rzouki on BBC Radio 5 live

If you offered me the choice between Morata and Lukaku, I wouldn’t even think about it.

I would pay £20m or £30m more if I had to and I would bring in Morata.

That is because I would always prefer an intelligent player in my team. Even if he doesn’t score as many goals, even if he doesn’t do whatever he needs to.

If he is more intelligent then he can be moulded quicker, he can do what he needs to do. And Morata has Champions League experience. He was second top scorer for Real Madrid despite not starting.

He has done it at Juventus and he has done it at Real Madrid.

He understands, he has the pace, he is intelligent, he links up play, he can be a counter-attacking threat.

The stats

  • Morata’s conversion rate last season was 27%, the highest of any striker to score 10 or more goals in La Liga in 2016-17; he scored 15 goals from 55 shots.
  • Morata’s goals won Real Madrid 13 points in La Liga last season; only Cristiano Ronaldo won more for the side with 15.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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