Free tips Blog: Chelsea need more than Alvaro Morata to challenge
Source: danielstorey85 via Twitter
Chelsea made the move to sell Diego Costa after his high-profile bust-up with manager Antonio Conte.
The Spain international moved back to Atletico Madrid, where he had played successfully under Diego Simeone before he signed for the Blues in 2014.
His looming exit left a void at Chelsea, which was quickly ended when the club secured the signature of Alvaro Morata for £60m from Real Madrid. Although the 25-year-old enjoyed a fine start to his career in the Premier League, his recent form has highlighted the need for Conte to add another striker to his squad.
Costa was highly influential in his first season at Chelsea, forming an outstanding partnership with Eden Hazard in the final third to allow the Blues to storm to the Premier League title. The striker scored 20 goals in just 26 appearances to thrive under manager Jose Mourinho.
However, his form in his second term in England, along with that of Hazard, proved to be the Portuguese’s undoing, with Mourinho suffering the sack as his side underachieved in the 2015/16 campaign. Costa returned to form under Conte, scoring another 20 goals as the Blues won the top-flight crown in the Italian’s first season.
Conte, aware of the striker’s inconsistency and volatility, informed him of his decision to move on from the 29-year-old. After a protracted saga – not aided by Atletico’s transfer ban – the Spain international completed his move back to Madrid in January. In that time, Morata had shown signs of being able to fill the void, scoring decisive goals, including in Chelsea’s win over Simeone’s men in the Champions League.
However, his form has tailed off in recent months, finding the net just three times in 13 matches, with his one-on-one finishing brought under the spotlight. The Spaniard had ample opportunities in the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Arsenal but his lack of a clinical edge was to cost his team the three points on the road.
The 25-year-old has found the net 10 times in the Premier League this term, although the amount of chances he’s had should have seen him top the scoring charts due to the ammunition provided by Hazard and company.
Despite that apparent shortfall, and in spite of the fact that sportsbettingtips.co.uk notes that bookmakers’ odds are often determined by player trends and performances, goals from Morata remain a popular market in the live betting; after all, he’s not the only striker to have struggled at Stamford Bridge as Michy Batshuayi has failed even to provide relief off the bench in his limited action.
The Belgian had issues getting into the game in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Norwich in the third round of the FA Cup, highlighting Conte’s need for reinforcements.
Most goals scored in Europe’s top 5 Leagues this season:
Edinson Cavani (19)
Harry Kane (18)
Mauro Icardi (17)
Mohamed Salah (17)
On fire. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/aarlRme6YT
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 2, 2018
Conte should have one eye on Italy and Serie A to bolster his options in the final third. Mauro Icardi has enjoyed another fine season for Inter Milan, although the Nerazzurri are slightly off the pace in the race for the league crown. Chelsea can offer him Champions League football and, at the age of 24, the Argentine will only improve.
A strikeforce of Icardi and Morata would offer Chelsea a formidable complement with the Spaniard’s ability in the air, while the former has the skill on the ground and in one-on-one situations. He would not be cheap but his presence could be enough to see the club match the firepower of Manchester City in the second half of the campaign.