Arsenal have reportedly joined London rivals Cheslea in the race to sign Juventus attacker Alvaro Morata. Spanish side Real Madrid have a major say in the Spaniard’s future due to the buy-back clause inserted in his contract while selling him to the Old Lady.
The Alvaro Morata saga is destined to be one of the longest of this transfer window. Only a few weeks ago, it was reported that Chelsea had opened talks with Juventus for his services. The Italian side were holding out for a valuation close to the £40 million bracket and Blues boss Antonio Conte was set to pay top-dollar to bring the striker to the Stamford Bridge.
The ‘Real Madrid scenario’ complicated things further as it was understood that they would exercise his buy-back clause only to sell him for a profit. But, if current reports are to be believed, the Spanish side now wants Morata to be a part of the squad and play second-fiddle to first-choice striker Karim Benzema.
Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is of the opinion that Real Madrid may still be open on letting Morata leave for a higher price, given the fact that he wouldn’t be too pleased in playing the role of an understudy. According to him, Arsenal have stepped up their interest in signing the Spanish striker as a potential move for Jamie Vardy has fallen through. Arsene Wenger, in dire need of attacking options, may well profit from a move for the highly-rated 23-year-old.
Morata who is currently on international duty in France, knows that his performances in the Euros will have heavy bearing on his future. The Spanish striker has made a decent impact in the La Furia Roja squad, scoring two goals in as many games, ensuring his side’s progression to the Round of 16.
What has been noteworthy is that the striker is only as good as the players around him. In the tournament’s first game, Morata looked like an isolated figure in the Spanish squad, while most of his teammates were focused on the defensive aspect of the tie. The Czech Republic maligned the striker to absolute perfection and there was little he could do to break free.
In the next game, against an easier opposition, head-coach Vincente del Bosque asked Nolito to play a rather supporting role and David Silva to constantly feed the ball to the lone striker. Morata’s impact was immediately noticeable and he looked like the lethal talisman many know him to be.
Could Morata’s arrival at the Emirates spell the end of Giroud’s Arsenal career?
Olivier Giroud has often been made scapegoat for Arsenal’s poor run of form. Given the amount of creativity present in the Arsenal squad, Giroud has failed to apply the finishing touches, time and again. Mesut Ozil was the league’s most creative player, and to everyone’s amusement, the striker he created the chances for, did not live up to his billing.
Signing Morata would certainly give Arsenal an upgrade to their current crop of attackers. Apart from Giroud, Danny Welbeck is a striker who has shown tremendous potential, but unfortunately injuries have ruined the chances for him to grow as a player. Theo Walcott, a winger by trade, plays the occasional role of a number-nine, but the performances have been unsatisfactory.
Unlike Giroud, Morata could offer a decent amount of protection at the other end as well. The Spanish striker is known to track-back and more often than not, finds himself winning tackles in his own area. He is far from being an out-and-out nine, and maybe this is the kind of versatility Wenger needs to guide his team over the line, to win another Premier League title.