Will Alvaro Morata be at Real Madrid when the season starts?
Alvaro Morata is going back home to Real Madrid after the Champions League winners announced their decision to bring him back after two years with Juventus. At 23 years of age and rounding into world-class form, whether or not he'll be in a Real Madrid shirt next season, or if the capital club decide to turn around and sell him on is the biggest question swirling around the explosive striker’s future.
At 6-foot-3, powerfully built with pace to burn, Morata has all the qualities of a prototypical modern center forward. Two-footed, good in the air, a strong finisher with deceptive skill on the ball, the Madrid-born striker is strong enough to lead the line as a target man, but technically proficient enough to play on the wing or as a second striker. His unselfishness, ability to hold the ball up, and desire get in behind defenses using his intelligent, incessant running and searing pace make him both ideal to use as a lone striker, or to pair with another attacker.
Morata has proven himself to be up for it on the biggest stage time and again, scoring a number of decisive goals in Champions League for Juventus, even equalling Alessandro Del Piero's consecutive goals-scored record with the Bianconeri. He found the net in five straight Champions League matches, knocking out Real Madrid in the 2014/15 semifinals, and netting Juventus' lone goal against Barcelona in the 3-1 final loss.
Now back at Madrid, it's unclear whether new manager Zinedine Zidane views him as part of the first team squad, or if he was simply brought back in order to turn a quick profit by selling him on, most likely to one of the many English teams rumored to be interested.
As things stand at the Bernabeu, he would most likely be a player rotated in for Karim Benzema or used in spells out wide, but his outright purchase will be of particular interest to both Arsenal and Chelsea, teams in dire need of attacking reinforcement. New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte only worked with Morata for days before leaving Juventus in pre-season to become Italy manager, but he will be more than familiar with his body of work. Morata's versatility, intelligence and workrate are surely characteristics the dynamic Italian would prize.
Across town however, Arsenal seem to be the most ideal destination for the 23-year-old Spaniard. Young, mobile, versatile, technical, strong on the ball, and a proven big-game player, Morata ticks every single one of Arsene Wenger and the Gunners' boxes. For Morata, Arsenal offers English money, Champions League participation, and a chance to be the undisputed marquee man up front for a top team. With the blessing in disguise of Jamie Vardy allegedly balking at the prospect of leaving Leicester, there is no better option for Arsenal to splash the cash on and put Morata and Mesut Ozil back on the same books again, even if they were teammates almost in name only at Madrid.
Joint top-scorer at Euro 2016, Spain's current undisputed No. 9, and one of European football's hottest properties, Morata will have no shortage of suitors to choose from. While his future is in Madrid's hands, and there are whispers that Juventus may still be in play after the resolution of his buyback clause, there's no real indication where Morata will land. Only time will tell what the future holds.
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