Alvaro Morata is retracing his steps in hopes of rediscovering some footballing mojo.
The Spanish striker is off to Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2019-20 campaign, reuniting with the team he joined as a child. Following an erratic year-and-a-half stint at Chelsea, Morata has agreed to an 18-month stay that reportedly includes a club purchase option.
A statement from the club read: “Alvaro Morata is now an Atletico de Madrid player. The striker has already signed his contract for the remainder of the current season and the next one, after our club reached an agreement with Chelsea Football Club and the player passed his medical at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra.”
(Photo courtesy: Atletico Madrid)
Morata scored 16 league goals for the Blues in 47 appearances after joining the capital city outfit in a reported club-record £60-million move from Real Madrid in July 2017. The 10-time capped international’s Chelsea tenure became tenuous with Maurizio Sarri’s appointment in the summer, and his fate was sealed by Gonzalo Higuain’s transfer from Serie A to Stamford Bridge.
With Atletico striker Diego Costa sidelined following foot surgery, Morata is likely to compete with Nikola Kalinic as part of a two-man strikeforce alongside Antoine Griezmann in Diego Simeone’s preferred 4-4-2 formation.
Morata, 26, enlisted with Atletico’s youth setup in 2005 before moving to Getafe and eventually Madrid, for whom he made his first-team debut as a substitute in a La Liga victory at Real Zaragoza.