On Monday Alvaro Morata backtracked quicker than a man moon-walking.
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The Spanish international was quoted by an Italian newspaper saying that London fascinated him but that “I do not see myself living here for very long. Too much, too much stress, too many metropolises.”
Add to that his glowing praise of the lifestyle in Italy from his time spent at Juventus in the past — “for a Spaniard is the best country to live. You have everything: beauty, history, art, cooking, fashion. I would never have left Italy and Juve” — and Chelsea’s fans were correctly concerned.
Morata, 25, addressed the media ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League group stage game with AS Roma and wanted to put the record straight as he blamed a “connection problem” for the less than complementary quotes attributed to him.
“I’m really happy here and enjoying London with my wife,” Morata said. “When I finish my career, I prefer to come back to my country. I prefer the place where I was born, that’s normal. When I say London is a stressful city, I’m talking about the traffic and a lot of people. It’s an incredible city. If Chelsea proposed 10 years, I’d probably sign it. I’m happy with everything. If I make good and improve, I can stay here more than five years.”
So, we may not see Morata sipping on tea along the River Thames or raving about the transport system in England’s capital city anytime soon, but should we really be concerned about that?
Morata is a human being with opinions and if he and his wife (who is Italian, by the way) prefer living in Italy to England, that’s fine. I’m sure most English people would probably prefer to hang out in the Italian Alps or on the Amalfi Coast given the chance.
That’s what makes this the most perplexing. Morata’s comments suggested he wouldn’t be at Chelsea for long, but he signed a five-year contract in the summer and nowhere did he say he wouldn’t at least honor that. His overzealous denial was a little cringe-worthy but at least he tried to rectify the situation with Chelsea’s fans having their noses put a little out of joint.
Morata’s ability is undoubted and Chelsea’s fans shouldn’t be too concerned about his comments. I’m sure if you asked most Premier League players about their long-term plans of where they will live, not many will say where they currently reside. That’s the way it is. Let’s move on.
The added issue when it comes to Morata’s comments is that his manager at Chelsea, Antonio Conte, continues to be linked with a move back to Italy and has also been quoted as saying similar things in the Italian media. Chelsea’s fans, understandably, don’t want to lose their manager and star striker in one fell swoop.
Plus, coming after Diego Costa left for Atletico Madrid after he admitted to not settling in England (to go along with his spat with Conte), Morata’s comments were perhaps a little too close to home for Chelsea’s fan to handle.
Was it ill-advised for Morata to talk negatively about the city and area where he plays? Yes. Of course. Should he be lambasted for being honest? No.
Chelsea’s fans should only be worried once he stops scoring goals.