Alvaro Morata was brought to Chelsea this summer with the unenviable burden of being their brand new record signing, having joined from Real Madrid for a hefty £58m in July.
On top of this, he was tasked with replacing Diego Costa, a man who, for all his flaws, was both highly successful and highly popular amongst the Chelsea fans during his three year stint in West London.
The Spaniard hit the ground running, however, netting on his debut against Burnley and has continued to ripple the back of the net on a consistent basis, with nine league goals to his name so far. Only Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have scored more.
The 25-year-old has certainly endeared himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful, but is determined to make an even bigger impact for Antonio Conte’s side going forward, and he’s turned to a former Chelsea striker for inspiration.
Morata has admitted that he watches highlights of Blues legend Didier Drogba while he’s at home. Having first asked for a recording of Drogba’s goalscoring exploits for Chelsea in the summer, the Spaniard says he still watches it now.
“I put it on at home so I improve with Didier,” he explained.
Drogba scored 164 times and won 12 major honours for Chelsea over two spells, the first of which he ended in heroic fashion by securing the Champions League for the Blues with his last kick for the club.
You can arguably already see the effect this has had on Morata’s game. Six of his goals this season have been headers, and there weren’t too many players better in the air than Didier Drogba.
The Spain international, however, has insisted that the credit must go to his father, Alfonso.
He added: “When I was seven or eight, I got a trampoline. My dad used to say to me all the time, ‘come on with the head’ and then pass the ball to me as I jumped. I really think it’s helped my heading game because I practiced this all the time with my dad.
“I found it funny when I was little to jump high and head or kick the ball, but it helped me for the future as well because the aerial game is one of my good points.”
Morata is the third Spanish player Chelsea have bought to try and replace Drogba after Costa and Fernando Torres.
For now, he seems to be without the fragility that hindered Torres and without the lingering controversy that Costa seemed to carry with him at all times. Perhaps, finally, Chelsea have found the rightful heir to Drogba’s throne, and they can thank the Ivorian himself for a small part of that.
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