Alvaro Morata left Real Madrid for Chelsea in 2017 in order to become the main man at one of Europe’s top clubs.
He would have stayed at the Bernabeu but it was clear that Karim Benzema would remain the club’s first-choice centre-forward under Zinedine Zidane.
Chelsea splashed out a club-record £60 million fee for the Spanish striker, who’d scored 20 goals in 43 games for Madrid during the previous season, to replace Diego Costa.
However, Morata’s first season at Stamford Bridge was a bitter disappointment for all concerned.
Fifteen goals in 48 games was an underwhelming return for a forward who looked capable of becoming one of Europe’s best.
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Morata’s form and confidence continued to nose-dive and it was no surprise when Chelsea brought in Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus in January, allowing the Spaniard to join Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan deal in the process.
He had become a figure of fun in English football but his nightmare was finally over.
Morata later raised eyebrows by admitting he’s told Atletico boss Diego Simeone three years ago that he would join him at the Wanda Metropolitano as soon as it was possible.
"It wasn't possible before," Morata said, referring to the £60m deal that took him to Chelsea, per the Independent. "But it wasn't because of me. I gave him my word, and now I've come here it has been the time when I've talked with Simeone the least!"
And under Simeone, Morata has experienced an eventful start to his spell as an Atletico player.
In his first match against Real Betis, he was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty as Atleti slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
He also suffered defeat in his second appearance - against his former club, Real Madrid - and had a beautiful goal harshly ruled out for offside.
But Morata’s luck began to improve after the Madrid derby.
He provided the assist for Antoine Griezmann as Atleti beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0, and was part of the team that defeated Juventus (another of his former clubs) 2-0 four days later.
Morata then netted his first Atleti goal in last month’s 2-0 win over Villarreal and followed that up by scoring a brace in a 2-0 victory away at Real Sociedad last Sunday.
So that’s three goals in five appearances from the 26-year-old, who is finally getting back to his best following the most difficult 18 months of his career.
“Morata with a MOTM display,” Spanish football writer David Jaca wrote after the win over La Real. “Early days but is playing with an attitude, approach that you imagine only Simeone could instil in him. Two goals, and a generally all-round combative display from the front.”
"When we sign a player we always envision his best side, some adapt faster than others," Simeone said of Morata, per Marca, after the match.
"More than for his goals, I am happy for the work he is putting and for how he has adapted to the team.
"Those who have hierarchy take less time to adapt, he is not a kid and he meets the conditions we set for him."
Like Tiemoue Bakayoko, Morata is busy proving his critics wrong after getting away from west London.News Now - Sport News