After infamously telling Diego Costa that he was no longer needed by text message, Antonio Conte made signing a new No.9 heading into the 2017/18 Premier League season a priority.
And while Romelu Lukaku was constantly being linked with a move back to Chelsea (Telegraph), in the end, it was Alvaro Morata who was brought in to replace his compatriot.
A Spain international with experience at two of the biggest clubs in world football in Real Madrid and Juventus, it is fair to say most Chelsea supporters were pleased to see the 26-year-old arrive at Stamford Bridge.
— HudsonOdoiFC (@aamirrkhann1) July 19, 2017
Good news ever, up Chelsea!!! Welcome morata. We love you @chelseafc
— Honourability (@Ayenidammy) July 19, 2017
Finally the only player I want at CFc….. His pace and movements is similar to that of cr7
— Cornel Quay (@bitsace) July 19, 2017
can't wait to see him in Chelsea shirt. 2017/2018 season is in trouble
— abiodun sunday ige (@ige_sunday) July 20, 2017
Rip English teams.
— LAMIN CHELSEA (@tt19Li6rOhyEJEK) July 20, 2017
Am happy we got our man morata
— kingsley ogiamen (@ogiamen) July 20, 2017
Best summer transfer news
— DIRTY EYES (@15_02_90s) July 20, 2017
Wow!!!! Great signing@morata. Bring on man city, man united, Tottenham and ……well that's just about the teams competing for the league
— Osarenkhoe Hope (@HopeOsarenkhoe) July 19, 2017
Very good player who suits the style of Antonio Conte’s game! Now to the next one! #CFC
— Vladimir Petrovic (@Vlada1959) July 19, 2017
Early into his Chelsea career, it was not hard to see why fans were so excited about Morata.
During that initial period, he scored in games against Burnley, Everton, Leicester City and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
A brilliant header in a 1-0 win versus Manchester United that followed not too long after only added to all of the hype.
From a personal point of view, that has probably been the highlight of Morata’s Chelsea career. Because since then, it has pretty much been all downhill for the former Juventus striker.
Under Conte, he would go on to lose his starting XI spot to Olivier Giroud — and deservedly so.
After a bright start to life in west London, his all-round centre-forward play became so poor. Constantly missing easy 1v1 chances and failing to hold up the ball efficiently, Conte had no choice but to axe him.
Looking back now, the Italian must deeply regret sending Costa, a clearly superior No.9, that text. It did him no favours and has certainly not done his successor Maurizio Sarri any either.
Still, with a transfer ban hanging over their heads, Sarri and Chelsea could yet find themselves having to recall Morata from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid before begging him to stay for the next campaign.
But based on his time in a blue shirt, transfer ban or no transfer ban, would there be any point?
Chelsea fans, what were your thoughts when Morata initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!