Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says that it’s time for Alvaro Morata to leave Stamford Bridge and Chelsea need to find a new striker.
The Spaniard has had a tough season with the Blues and his poor luck in front of goal was exposed again last weekend when he missed a sitter against Fulham in the Premier League.
Has Alvaro Morata flopped at Chelsea? Five things you need to know:
- Morata has only scored 16 goals in 45 Premier League appearances over two seasons.
- Chelsea paid £60m to sign him from Juventus, where he scored a similar total in front of goal, with 27 goals in 93 appearances across all competitions.
- Morata has only scored seven goals in 20 appearances across all competitions for the Blues this season.
- Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted Morata is “mentally fragile”.
- Jamie Carragher is not the only person to argue that Morata is not good enough to play for Chelsea. Pundits Michael Owen, Glenn Hoddle and a growing number of fans think likewise.
In his column for The Telegraph, Carragher argued that it might be time for the Blues to consider pursuing a new striker: “The reality is I do not think that Morata will ever click at Chelsea, and I am sure the club think that too
“They have to be looking now for a new option next season.”
Carragher added that if Chelsea were able to acquire a striker, they could mount a credible threat to Manchester City’s supremacy in the league.
“He is 26 and his career statistics tell you that he had not played many full seasons – 34 appearances in Serie A for Juventus in 2015-2016 is his highest league total. Chelsea cannot wait,” the Sky Sports pundit explained.
“With a first-rate striker this would be a team capable of challenging City.
“All Chelsea’s title-winning sides have had great strikers – Drogba or Diego Costa – and this team needs one desperately.”
Chelsea’s problems up front
The Blues have been blessed with some ferocious striking power over the years. Didier Drogba was a predator in front of goal and big-game specialist. At the height of his powers, the Ivorian notched 29 goals in 32 Premier League games.
Shortly after Drogba’s reign at the sharp end of Chelsea’s team, Diego Costa took up the mantle in attack and brought with him from Madrid bags and bags of goals. The Spaniard scored 52 goals in 89 Premier League games.
Since Costa returned to Atletico, Chelsea have struggled to find an adequate replacement. Last season the combined power of Eden Hazard and Morata only managed to produce three more league goals than Costa notched in his last league campaign for the club.
Chelsea also found the fewest number of goals among the sides who finished in the top six last season. Under Maurizio Sarri, the Blues’ fortunes have improved in the final third. However, they have still converted 14 fewer opportunities than league leaders Manchester City.
The Italian coach has also revolutionised Chelsea’s style of play. The only thing that seems to be missing is a world-class striker, one who might have been able to find the net at least once among the 17 shots they fired in their 2-1 defeat against Wolves on Wednesday.
Chelsea have an opportunity to regain the ground they have lost on Saturday when they host Man City on Saturday in a crucial game at the top of the Premier League.