Alvaro Morata & Juventus: The Love Story We All Need and One the Spaniard Deserves

Max Cooper
Morata is in love in Turin
Morata is in love in Turin / Getty Images/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

If you asked supporters of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid or of any other club in Europe whether Alvaro Morata has the makings of an elite striker, they'd probably offer up a pitiful smile and stifle a giggle.

Ask any Juventino the same question, and a beaming grin of pride would spread across their face. Morata is not just a great striker. He's their great striker.

Eyebrows were raised and jokes were cracked regarding the persuasive qualities of the Spaniard's agent once again this summer, after the 27-year-old landed himself another move to one of Europe's heavyweights off the back of another fairly average season in front of goal.

Three games and three goals into the new season, and I Bianconeri's gamble looks to be paying off with immediate effect. The forward is exactly what this side needs: tall, mobile and capable with both his head and his feet, the Spain international brings so much to the party when he takes to the field.

He may not be a ruthless finisher from outside of the penalty area, but swing some crosses into the mixer or play him in behind the defence, and there are very few better at their job than Morata. His brace in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev showed exactly what he's all about.

The first, a tap-in after a smart stop from the goalkeeper, demonstrated his predatory instincts and ability to sniff out a chance where others may be rather more flat-footed.

His second was a prime example of just what he can offer to this Juve team over the next few years. Juan Cuadrado swung in a delicious cross from the right-hand side, that was just begging for someone to gamble on that near post. In a flash, Morata was there, charging across his marker and flicking the ball perfectly beyond his adversary. Beautifully executed.

It was clinical, and the mark of a striker who should be hitting at least 15 goals a season each and every year. For one reason or another, however, that has not been the case for our Alvaro.

In fact, he has only broken into double figures three times in a league campaign over the course of his career, with last season's 12 goals proving to be one of his better returns. His 15 goals in a star-studded Real Madrid team back in 2016/17 remains his most prolific campaign, and also denotes the beginning of the downward spiral in his career, which all stemmed from his big-money move to Chelsea a year later.

The 16 league strikes in two seasons at Stamford Bridge (with 11 of those coming in his maiden year) are quickly forgotten when we cast an eye back to his brief spell in the Premier League. Instead, we are reminded of a tortured soul, berated and belittled by his own fanbase, who just couldn't catch a break.

He scored goals, but he also missed sitters, looked as comfortable as a fish out of water, and generally wasn't very happy. His position at the club became untenable. And in January, he was off.

The Spanish sun did him wonders upon his exit from the Blues, but yet again, it didn't last long. Another 18 months, and it's time for a change. In the end, how many strikers really have what it takes (physically and mentally) to lead the line in a gruelling and thankless Diego Simeone setup? Not many.

And so, Morata once again finds himself at Juventus, with a point to prove. Away from the demanding glares of Real Madrid and Chelsea's fanbases, and the restrictive and draining Atleti regime, he has discovered the place he can really be himself.

Back in his favourite nest, he is ready to spread his wings and roam around his favourite roosting tree. He's rarely looked happier - after all, home is where the heart is.

Fresh-faced Morata leads the Juventus charge against Madrid
Fresh-faced Morata leads the Juventus charge against Madrid / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Leaving behind the bad memories, the low morale and the stifling pressure, we are instead left with pure, unadulterated Morata. The striker is now leading the line for this new-look Juve side, with their new, sexy coach Andrea Pirlo - and the initial signs are more than promising.

This Bianconeri team plays for the Spanish forward, plays to his strengths and serves him in the areas in which he is most efficient. Back in his true football home, Morata can thrive, re-bloom and finally break the 20-goal barrier, spurred on by the love and adoration of an entire city.

And no one deserves it more than him.


facebooktwitterreddit