Has Maurizio Sarri unlocked Alvaro Morata’s talent for Chelsea?
Chelsea have made a very impressive start to the season under Maurizio Sarri. They’re playing slick passing football and are unbeaten in all competitions so far.
Sarri’s attacking style seems to be suiting the Blues squad – Eden Hazard has managed to raise his game even higher. And after a tough first year in England, it may just be getting the best out of Alvaro Morata too.
He’s got five goals in his last six appearances. And at 11/10 to get another against Everton this weekend, can the Spain striker keep it up?
All the tools
Morata’s talent has never been in doubt. He’s quick, skilful and good in the air. He ticks almost every box.
But he’s often struggled with confidence. During his time at Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon said he could be one of the best strikers in the world “if only he could get over his mental hang-ups”.
He made a bright start to life in West London. But after returning from a back injury last term, the 26-year-old was clearly low on self-belief. He kept missing chances and making little impact on games. He ended up losing his place to Olivier Giroud.
Turned things around?
Giroud tended to start at the beginning of this season too. His link-up with Hazard offered more to the team than Morata’s tame displays.
But things have started to change in recent weeks. Unlike Giroud, he can come short to link play and he’s got the pace to run in behind. And after a miserable run of four goals in 31 games, the former Real Madrid ace is firing them in regularly again.
He’s revealed he now feels like he’s completely over the back issue that plagued him last season. It’s making a huge difference to his performances.
Time to kick on
There are still areas that need work. He can look clinical one minute and comical the next.
When played through for a hat-trick against Crystal Palace last weekend, he tried to lob Wayne Hennessey even though the giant goalkeeper was fully stood up. It ended up being a simple catch for the Palace shot-stopper.
But at least he’s getting into areas where he can cause real damage again. Sarri’s football means he should receive plenty of service. And now there’s a belief that he can make the most of it.
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