Chelsea complete £60m Morata signing

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Alvaro Morata made his international debut in 2014 and has 20 caps for Spain

Chelsea have completed the £60m signing of striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a five-year-deal.

The Spain international, 24, scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Italian champions Juventus.

Morata won La Liga and the Champions League, but the majority of his appearances were as a substitute.

Premier League champions Chelsea have also signed goalkeeper Willy Caballero, defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer.

Morata will now join up with the Blues squad on their pre-season tour of Asia.

“Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset,” said Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo.

Morata could replace Spain team-mate Diego Costa, who manager Antonio Conte says was told in January that he no longer featured in his plans.

Manchester United had been interested in Morata before they signed Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton for an initial £75m.

“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.

The 6ft 3in striker joined Real Madrid’s youth team in 2008 and made his senior debut aged 18 in 2010.

He moved to Italy in 2014, scoring 27 goals in two years for Juventus, winning both Serie A and the Coppa Italia twice and playing in the 2015 Champions League final.

Real exercised an option in June 2016 to take him back to the Bernabeu.

Morata has 20 caps for Spain and has scored nine goals since his international debut in 2014.

Morata v Lacazatte v Lukaku – the stats 2016-17
Alvaro Morata Alexandre Lacazette Romelu Lukaku
Games 26 30 37
Minutes 1,331 2,408 3,267
Goals 15 28 25
Assists 4 3 6
Minutes per goal 89 86 131
Total shots 55 84 110

Analysis

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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