Premier League Champions, Chelsea, have broken their transfer record to sign another Spanish forward, Alvaro Morata, ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League season. With Antonio Conte recently signing a new contract and the London based club now bringing in their fourth player of the summer, we're going to take a look at Morata's credentials as Fantasy Premier League managers begin eyeing up the Spaniard for their squads.
If you're considering Chelsea's new pricey forward for your FPL teams, let's start off by dissecting the forward's history, so we can gauge whether or not he should be in contention for your starting eleven.
Alvaro Morata: Factfile
Age: 24 (23/10/1992)
Height: 1.89m (6ft 2inches)
2010-2014: Real Madrid
2016-2017: Real Madrid
Senior Club Goals: 103 goals from 271 appearances for 3 clubs (including goals in cup competitions)
Goal Record (League Competition):
2010/11 (Real Madrid): 1 appearance, 0 goals
2011/12 (Real Madrid): 1 appearance, 0 goals
2012/13 (Real Madrid): 12 appearances, 2 goals
2013/14 (Real Madrid): 23 appearances, 8 goals
2014/15 (Juventus): 29 appearances, 8 goals
2015/16 (Juventus): 34 appearances, 7 goals
2016/17 (Real Madrid): 26 appearances, 15 goals
Totals: 126 appearances, 40 goals
Morata's 2016/17 Season: Real Madrid
Appearances: 26 (14 starting, with 12 substitute appearances)
Goals: 15 (6 home, 9 away)
Assists: 4 (2 home, 2 away)
Yellow Cards: 8 (6 home, 2 away)
Ariel Duels: 60% win rate
Pass success rate: 75.4% pass completion
Alvaro Morata and Champions Chelsea
Joined: 21st July 2017
Estimate Fee: £60-67 million
Morata on joining Chelsea: "I am so happy to be here. It's an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible."
The case for Alvaro Morata leaving La Liga and Champions League winners, Real Madrid, has been long speculated, well before Real became the first club to retain Europe's most elite footballing crown. If you followed the saga throughout the summer you'll know that Morata wasn't short of suitors. Which an eye to his signature, Man United looked as if they'd be certainties to sign the forward, before opting for Premier League hardened Romelu Lukaku to lead the Red Devils attack next season. AC Milan, who have splurged all of their new Chinese capital, were also heavily rumoured as a potentially interested party for Morata.
Decisively, negotiations with Chelsea happened relatively quickly once the Lukaku deal to Man United had happened, with the centre forward finally announced on July 21st 2017. Word around the signing is that Morata, all along, was Conte's number one choice for a forward option, with the manager seemingly happier now that he has Morata, Bakayoko, and Rudiger, across the line. In what looked like to be a frustrating summer of transfer activity for the Blues, has ultimately turned into one of promise, with Chelsea strengthening in key areas, and wisely so, having let a large frame of the club's academy structure leave for greener pastured and play time.
What are we most thankful for regarding the transfer? That there wasn't another introduction video in the club store, like with Rudiger's announcement.
Is Alvaro Morata an option in the FPL?
Morata, of course, was over the moon to play for Chelsea, and we have to think that Conte was instrumental in his arrival to Stamford Bridge. Conte has the assured word 'faith' in the forward, having pinned the Spaniard as his choice of forward at both Juventus, and now Chelsea. From an FPL point of view, upon viewing the statistics, and better understanding the type of player he has been - not saying what he can become - players will need to take a leap of faith with Morata heading into the new season. We'll explain why.
We speculate that the forward will be priced in the region of £10-11 million when added to the game, which if the case, puts him up in the premium list of forwards to start the season. Here's what he'll be faced with in terms of competition for spots on the opening day of the season. For the purpose of Morata's arrival, we're leaving Diego Costa (£10.0m) off the list, he won't be at Chelsea for much longer we suspect.
FPL Forwards: £10+ million
Harry Kane (TOT): £12.5m
Romelu Lukaku (MUN): £11.5m
Sergio Aguero (MCI): £11.5m
Alexandre Lacazette (ARS): £10.5m
Gabriel Jesus (MCI): £10.5m
Based on price alone, most FPL players will have to manage expectations between going all-out with 3 big forward buys from the list above, or more realistically, pick between two at the very most. Morata, as Chelsea's new figurehead in attack, must battle FPL reliable personnel in Kane, Lukaku, and to some degree the presence of Sergio Aguero. The only club not featured in the most premium of Forwards is Liverpool, who even though they possess the talents of Roberto Firmino (£8.5m) in attack, their FPL potential is most certainly going to be maximised through their midfield assets. That leaves 5 of the top 6 clubs with one (or in City's case, two) options to choice for selection. Harry Kane (TOT) is the only guaranteed starter who will be featuring for the same club as last season, with City prone to rotate at a whim, and with Lukaku, Morata, and Lazacette, all trying to find their feet at new clubs. The only downside with Kane is that for multiple seasons running the Spurs forward has struggled to score in August, despite winning the Premier League's golden boot with 25+ goals in two consecutive seasons.
Where the door opens for Morata is over a necessity of having a Chelsea player in your squad from an attacking point of view. Eden Hazard's absence due to injury has opened a question as to who to trust from the Blues squad in your Fantasy teams. Chelsea after all are Champions and entertain Burnley on the opening day, a game that most pundits would agree is going to be a potential field day for Antonio Conte's men, especially given that Burnley have sold Michael Keane to Everton. That said, it is then only natural to consider an attacking option from Chelsea, as they will find goals, and keep cleans, throughout the season, even if you're not a fan of the club on a personal level.
A question of picking between the likes of Willian (£7.0m), Pedro (£8.0m), and Fabregas (£7.0m) has arisen, with many FPL teams we scour on social media, and through other FPL related accounts, mostly sporting one of the Chelsea midfielders. If you're seeking certainty from any of the three players, you won't find any. Fabregas and Willian look detined to contest one spot in the team after Bakayoko's arrival, whilst Pedro, who looks a certain starter, is a regular substitute in Conte's system and will have his minutes and FPL points potential shaved as a result. Had Eden Hazard been available from the first kick of the season we'd have definitely implored the Belgian as the option to take, even ahead of newbie Morata, as Hazard's a sure bet for points and in the early stages of the season you shouldn't be second guessing your choices on day one, forced into emergency, and potentially damning transfers, that will affect all that hard work formulating your final squad.
Fortunately though, we believe that Morata's arrival might open door number four. Morata is strong, quick, has a good eye for goal, and is very much akin to Diego Costa, in the sense that he loves a booking, which in itself is a concern having racked up eight for Real Madrid last season, as well as the sense that he might be a forward that can contain the front lines by himself. Still young at the age of 24, Morata's had a career of not being thee main man in attack, but will get that opportunity at Chelsea this season. We suspect that he won't get as many minutes as Costa did last season, and isn't made of titanium like his national counterpart, with Chelsea still potentially in the market for another forward, and with The Batsman, Michy Batshuayi, lurking in good form during pre-season.
So to recap briefly, we think that minutes might be affected, rotation and early substitution might be a factor, as well as the number of goals he'll notch in without Hazard in the side (Morata's only reached double figures once in league competition), but there is a definite upside.
The best takeaway piece of advice that we can offer with Morata is that when we first started looking into the forward, to discover if we'd place him into our own FPL squads, we thought the decision would be straight forward. He's a striker with a big reputation coming to Chelsea, he's going to score goals. It's not been that easy to say without a grain of doubt, especially given that most top clubs in the Premier League now have a premium forward option. Morata is hoping that Chelsea will be his breakout club in regards to goal-scoring, but has yet to show that he is ready to take a forward line by the bull and horns at Juventus and Real Madrid, mostly because both clubs already had masses of wealth invested in attack. If Morata can take that leap and make the jump, he'll be a must have for Fantasy managers, but if there are complications with minutes and discipline, there will be an unlucky few that will have to learn that lesson the hard way. That said, there's no better team to succeed in than the Premier League Champions. Morata should get the service, and the chance to prove that he belongs at the top of the food chain in English football.
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