Alvaro Morata: Breaking out of Diego Costa's shadow

Luke Newton

After all the talk about Alvaro Morata's inability to copy Diego Costa, it was another Spanish striker of Chelsea's past that seemed to draw more comparisons.

The way Chelsea's record signing on Saturday glided past Stoke defenders before a delightful chip to score his second of the match echoed that of Fernando Torres in his prime.

In truth, Torres' time at Stamford Bridge should have proved much more fruitful but there were shades of his former best in the Blues' new No. 9.

Since Costa's dramatic fallout with the club and subsequent expulsion from the squad, there have been endless pundits damning Morata before he had even kicked a ball.

The common rhetoric was that he was too nice and afraid to go toe-to-toe with some of the Premier League's biggest bruisers, something that Costa relished.

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To an extent, this can be considered true. There is no denying that a Costa in the mood was a frightful sight for defenders, he was an animal and could win games on the back of his own snarling attitude.

Without the soon-to-be Atletico man, it is hard to see how Chelsea would have lifted the Premier League in 2015 and 2017.

Something, sadly, Torres could never do. Despite an impressive trophy haul at the club including the Champions League and Europa League, there will always be a Premier League trophy-sized hole in his cabinet.

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But both of these men are now in the past. There is a new kid on the block, and he is hungry for success.

Morata's take to English football is something quite remarkable, he even mentioned himself that he is under huge pressure due to his transfer fee.

He has not shied away from it, but embraced it. Took on the responsibility of becoming the sole striker for a club magnetised to silverware.

Stoke away was exactly the type of game the pundits were saying Chelsea would miss Costa, that Morata did not have it in him to play these kind of fixtures.

Ninety minutes later, and he takes home the match ball.

There was no doubting his goalscoring prowess, he was Real Madrid's second-highest goalscorer last season only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

His movement is incredible, his touch is magic and his connection with fellow Spaniards Cear Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro is heart-warming.

And his relationship with coach Antonio Conte is strong; the boss said he is the kind of guy you'd let marry your daughter.

And whilst the two are in their honeymoon period, all the signs point towards a happy union between the two for years to come.

At the age of 24, he has his best years ahead of him and plenty of time to grow at Stamford Bridge.

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In fact, the spine of the team can go on to become a real force in Europe as well as domestically.

Andreas Christiansen (21), Tiemoue Bakayoko (23), Thibaut Courtois (25) are all here for the long run as the club looks to move on from legend John Terry for the first time.

And with six league goals in six, Morata is already looking like the man to lead that team.

A Chelsea season without drama wouldn't be Chelsea, and the noise this season has been coming from a certain someone from Lagarto, Brazil.

But the chants at the Bridge are louder and drowning out the petulant whines of a former star the fans loved; and it goes “Alvaro, wo-oa-oh!”