Alvaro Morata is back at his boyhood club Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish international has arrived at Atleti on an initial 18-month loan deal from Chelsea, with the striker eager to end his unhappy stay at Stamford Bridge. There is no word on if Morata’s deal can become a permanent one.
Morata is from Madrid and played for Atleti’s academy team for four years before joining Real Madrid as a teenager.
Morata, 26, arrived from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017 for a fee of $90 million but could never replace Diego Costa, the man who he will ironically play alongside at Atletico.
“I’m very happy and proud to be here. I can’t wait to start training, meet my new teammates and play,” Morata said.
How bad was Morata at Chelsea? Hit and miss is probably a good summation.
He scored 24 goals in 72 appearances in all competitions, but he just never seemed comfortable in the Premier League and had problems with the physicality of England’s top-flight.
In the air he excelled with plenty of headed goals, and he won an FA Cup under Antonio Conte in his first full season in England. However, under Maurizio Sarri both Morata and Olivier Giroud have been deemed surplus to requirements with Eden Hazard deployed as central striker in a false formation in recent weeks and the final straw was Gonzalo Higuain’s loan arrival at Chelsea from Juventus last week.
Morata is eligible to play in the UEFA Champions League for Atletico as they face Juventus — Morata’s former club where he spent two seasons and scored 27 goals — next month in the last 16
One of Morata’s best moments in a Chelsea shirt came when he scored the opener in their comeback 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last season.
The home fans at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium will now be hoping to see Morata celebrating after scoring for them time and time again as he aims to get his career back on track in his hometown.