The Men Most Likely to Replace Alvaro Morata
When Maurizio Sarri arrived at Chelsea in the summer, it was clear that the playing staff would all be granted a clean slate and the opportunity to impress the new manager. That positive outlook extended to Alvaro Morata who, after a subdued first season at Stamford Bridge, had another chance to win over the Blues supporters.
Eight games into the new league campaign and sadly for the player, it seems as though his time is up. Three goals in eleven matches across all competitions is not the return that the club needs if it is to reclaim the Premier League title and when the January transfer window opens, Chelsea must surely look again at a more adequate replacement for Diego Costa.
Chelsea have been very fortunate that Eden Hazard has been so prolific at the start of the 2018/19 campaign. After the first eight league games, the Belgian had scored seven goals and was the division’s top scorer going into the October international break.
In contrast, Alvaro Morata had found the net just twice in seven matches, leaving the much-maligned Pedro to pick up some slack with three in six. The latest football odds show Chelsea as third favourites at a general 8/1 to win the Premier League but the club won’t get over the line if they rely on an attacking midfielder as their main source of goals.
A prolific striker is a must this January but who is likely to provide the missing piece in the Stamford Bridge jigsaw?
Names in the Frame
The gossip columns have, somewhat predictably, suggested that Chelsea boss Sarri has been scouring his native Italy for replacement strikers but Serie A does seem to be the most likely source of available talent right now. One report links the club with a move for Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi with the potential for Chelsea to cross to rivals AC and a bid for Patrick Cutrone as a backup.
Icardi should be a familiar name for Blues fans as a player who has been linked with a move to England for some time. The 25-year-old has notched 112 goals in 190 games for Inter in all competitions and has started this season strongly with five in eight.
Cutrone, as a promising 20-year-old, would represent more of a gamble so many Chelsea fans will be hoping that the club follows up a link to Juventus’ Paulo Dybala. The Argentine has been prolific over three seasons in Turin but one goal in seven Serie A matches so far this campaign suggests he’s ready to move on following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Chelsea entered the second international break in second place in the table, level on points but behind Manchester City on goal difference. Their tally of 18 from eight games is respectable enough and it’s interesting to note that the Blues have scored three more goals than Liverpool – a team that continues to draw widespread media praise for its attacking endeavour.
The 2018/19 Premier League title may not be decided on goal difference but with Chelsea looking to push to the line, it’s clear that they need more firepower in front of goal. Alvaro Morata’s time at Stamford Bridge seems to be up but the question is, who comes in to replace him?