Chelsea have officially completed the signing of Alvaro Morata, after the Spain striker signed a five-year contract to confirm his exit from Real Madrid on Friday, per a statement on the Blues’ official website.
Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo confirmed Morata’s move, per the statement: “We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action.”
Meanwhile, the player himself expressed his delight at moving to Stamford Bridge, while also targeting trophies: “I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible.”
Things have moved fast in this deal, with Morata completing his medical earlier in the day, according to Sky Sports News. The same report noted how last season’s Premier League champions have agreed to pay an initial £58 million to sign the 24-year-old.
Yet Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard put the total cost of the deal at £70 million. Whatever the fee, Blues manager Antonio Conte, who worked with the striker at Serie A giants Juventus, talked up Morata’s talent and potential to improve, per Johnson: “He has played with Real Madrid and Juventus, plus has experience in the league and also the Champions League. He can improve a lot.”
Conte also confirmed Morata “for sure is first choice” to lead the line for Chelsea in the new season. It’s a big step forward for a player who was a backup with Los Blancos last season.
Even so, former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran wrote in The Independent how Morata is a better choice than Romelu Lukaku, who joined Chelsea’s domestic rivals Manchester United.
Ayestaran believes Morata is ready to hit his prime in England’s top flight and is more suited than Lukaku to how the Blues play: “If you analyse his goals, most come from someone playing a penetrating pass in behind the back four – so exactly what we’ve seen from Chelsea with Eden Hazard and Pedro – and Morata evading the offside to finish in just one or two touches, no more.”
Morata will now join his new team-mates on their pre-season tour of Asia, per the club statement. However, Conte has already indicated the Spaniard won’t feature in the upcoming friendly against London rivals Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday, per Joe Short of the Daily Express.