19th July 2017 – the day Álvaro Morata signed for Chelsea at a reported club record fee (£60m). A signing, behind which Antonio Conte played a key role; a signing, that went under controversies right from the very beginning; a signing, that made Chelsea fans forget about Diego Costa(for a limited period of time); a signing, that cost Chelsea their Champions League spot in the 2017/18 season!

Alvaro made his very first competitive debut for his new club against their home rivals Arsenal FC in 2017 Community Shield match. His miss during the shoot-out of that match was enough for the English media to roast him! The picture, though, started to change as the season progressed, but his inconsistency and lack of sharpness in front of opponent’s goal still remained as a headache!

After an above average first half of the season, Alvaro Morata’s second half of the season turned out to be a disaster! Particularly in that period of time, he struggled a lot mentally. Missing easy chances, getting injured frequently, losing his first-team spot to Olivier Giroud – totally summarize that period of time.

When the board of Chelsea FC decided to give him a second chance before the start of this season, the fans expected to see ‘The Goal-Machine’ Alvaro Morata under their new manager Maurizio Sarri. The whole club restored their faith in him after his brilliant performance in the London Derby against Arsenal FC, in which he managed to score a fantastic solo goal! But the story once again remained same!

With the expectations and pressure going higher, his self-confidence once again started to go down and down. His inconsistency came back in his games and even changing his shirt number from the so-called ‘unlucky number 9’ to 29, didn’t bring him luck.

It has been confirmed now that he has agreed a loan deal with Atletico Madrid, with the option to buy and the signing will be announced on Monday. Interestingly, they are on the verge of signing Higuain too.

Here are the three reasons why he never became the striker the Blues fans expected him to be…

1) Not a prolific goal scorer:

He was never a “prolific goal scorer” in his entire career. He was promoted to the first team of Real Madrid at a very young age. His ‘break-out’ season came in 2013-14 under Carlo Ancelotti, when he scored 9 goals in 34 games across all competitions. His aggression, movement, finishing ability drew the attention of many big clubs across the whole of Europe. His move to Juventus was destined to turn him into a better player and that’s what exactly happened.

During his first season at Juventus, he stood out for his pace, energy and work-rate on the pitch, while his technique, opportunism and positional sense saw him score several crucial goals. Real Madrid was determined to bring the Spaniard back at the club and used the buy-back option to land him at Madrid, where he once again struggled due to the lack of game-time. Chelsea used that opportunity pretty well and made him the club’s costliest ever player. All those incidents can’t ignore the fact that he is not a goal machine! During his time at Juventus, he managed to score only 27 goals in 93 games across all competitions. His best goal scoring season came when he rejoined Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane, in which he went on to score 20 goals in 43 games! So, at Chelsea FC when he scored 15 goals in 48 games, it was nothing surprising at all from him. The problem was “scoring only 15 goals even after getting so many chances”.

2) Unable to justify the ‘price-tag’:

When a club spends a good amount of money only to sign a single player, the high expectations start to build around him! When Alvaro Morata became Chelsea’s costliest
player, fans expected him to be the new ‘Mr. Dependable’ during the important matches, but all he turned out to be was “Just Another Fernando Torres”. His goals and performances were decisive in some of the games but it was like ‘once in a million year’ and his inconsistency and struggles were enough to overshadow those performances!

3) The ‘Diego Costa’ shadow:

Arrival of Alvaro Morata happened only because Antonio Conte did not want his national teammate Diego Costa at Chelsea FC anymore. Diego Costa was a crucial player
during his time at Chelsea was one of the biggest reasons behind Antonio Conte’s rapid success in England. So, replacing him was a huge duty, that Alvaro Morata was well aware of! From the very start of the previous season, fans started to mourn about Diego Costa whenever Alvaro Morata failed to score! This began to create a cloud of tremendous pressure around him and that cloud only turned into a bigger one with time!

There are many people and things to blame while analyzing the striker’s career at Chelsea properly, including things such as the time he signed for Chelsea, his lack of self-confidence, stereotyping of fans and to some extent, the injuries.