Since July 2017, questions have been asked about Chelsea's £60m signing of Alvaro Morata. Did they truly want him, or were they just forced to settle for the most easily available option?
It was definitely the latter.
After Antonio Conte forced Diego Costa out of the club, Chelsea shot themselves in the foot. The footballing world knew they were desperate to get rid of Costa, and they were even more desperate to replace him.
The club sat back and watched Manchester United move to sign Romelu Lukaku, making an embarrassing last-minute plea to bring the Belgian back to Stamford Bridge. After failing with that offer, Chelsea opted to sign Morata.
After joining the club, he got off to an impressive start. Eight goals from his first 11 games was a fantastic return, but Morata's weaknesses were always on show. The vast majority of his goals came from headers, with only a handful of his Chelsea goals coming with his feet.
Of course the ability to head a ball is a difficult skill in itself, but that is all that Morata has ever offered Chelsea, and he is not even offering that anymore. He is nowhere near good enough, which is why he has never been a first-choice striker at any of his previous clubs.
I’m really running out of words to describe how poor Álvaro Morata is these days. It’s just getting ridiculous.— Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) September 26, 2018
After missing out on Lukaku, Chelsea felt the need to make a marquee signing, and they opted to spend £60m on a glorified Peter Crouch.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was clearly available from Borussia Dortmund, and the Blues even still had Michy Batshuayi at the time. There was no logical reason for Chelsea to move for Morata, and they are suffering for their mistake now.
It is regularly said that Morata is just lacking confidence, but it is hard to argue that confidence is his only issue. He looks completely unprepared to work hard to create chances during matches, and then looks utterly unable to convert his chances when he eventually gets them.
Against Arsenal in January, Morata missed three phenomenal chances. Not just one, but three. On three separate occasions, Chelsea fans were left begging for Morata to do his job, and he could not.
It was astounding to watch as Morata seemed to forget how to play football, and it was a perfect example of his time at Chelsea.
Fans want to see Morata rediscover his goalscoring form, but all he has ever shown in England is that he knows how to head a ball. He's not Marouane Fellaini. He's Chelsea's starting striker. Quite simply, he needs to prove that he is a better footballer, or his Chelsea career will soon be over.
I think Morata just isn't very good if I am honest. He would do well in Serie A or La Liga but I am honestly starting to think he just isn't Chelsea quality.— David (@TekkaBooSon) September 27, 2018
Michy is far closer. Recall him and sell Morata.
The club brought in Olivier Giroud as they began to realise their mistake, but the damage was already done. Meanwhile, Michy Batshuayi was netting seven goals in ten games on loan at Borussia Dortmund, which is a better return than Morata managed during his prolific start to life in London.
It's time to accept it - Alvaro Morata is not good enough. Chelsea panicked when they signed him, and they have been panicking ever since. Sell him as soon as possible and, unless there's an undeniably world-class option available, let Giroud and Batshuayi do what they do best - actually contribute to their team.