I read an interesting article this morning about Morata. It was on Sky Sports and talked about him as a player who looks like he has plenty of potential, but from a goalscoring perspective hasn’t exactly been a prolific world beater.
Yesterday I mentioned that I had a couple of pints with a Geordie and whilst we certainly talked about Xhaka and how good he thought he was, the conversation also turned to Morata. I must show my hand here and admit that I am as weak on Italian football as I am the Bundesliga, so I was relying on my colleague to provide me with his insight. By all accounts he thought Morata would be exactly the type of player we should be going for.
Apparently he’s strong, technically able and has more pace than Giroud, at a younger age too. His feelings were that the guy has never really been given the trust to be the number one striker at a club, which could be the making of him, which led me to believe that he may just be the only option – or at least of those obvious names banded about in the press – that Arsène would go for.
Arsène loves a project. Just look at Sanogo. The managers Arsenal tenure is littered with examples of players he brought on a bit of a punt and polished up real nice. Van Persie was a project. Henry was a project (wide man to central striker). Theo was a project. The list is endless. Morata may be well known, he may be expensive if we’re after him, But that’s just the modern game. Everyone has scouts – heck, everyone is a scout, these days – and no league isn’t given levels of coverage that wouldn’t allow you to see footage of any player, so mega cheap deals are harder to come by. Not impossible mind, just harder to come by.
Morata has been a player superceded by Mandzukic and Dybala as the first choice players and as a result has found himself limited in game time from the start. He’s played over 40 games this season, but has been a substitute on 20 of those games. Everybody knows that it’s harder to impact games as a substitute. Sure, there are the odd few examples like Welbeck against Leicester, but by-and-large, if you’re a substitute it takes time to get a feel of a game and have a proper influence. And when you’re doing that for half a season, certainly as a striker, your goalscoring numbers are not going to be anything to write home about.
If he goes to a club for £30million, he’s not going there as a sub, he’s going there as a first choice striker. That’s something he’s wanted to be for a long time. He wants somebody to give him the responsibility of being the ‘big man on campus’ and Arsène Wenger is exactly the type of person to do that.
The more and more I read, the more plausible this becomes, because we’re not going out and spending £50million+ for a 28 going on 29-year-old Higuain. It’s just not something he’d ever do. A 25 year old Higuain and we’d probably be all over him like an itchy rash. But not at his age. And to tempt Dortmund into selling Aubameyang we’d probably need to offer them all of our remaining transfer cash and a corner of Stan’s ranch, so I don’t see that happening.
So of the well known players that we all expect Arsenal to be sniffing around, perhaps Morata is the one and perhaps, he might be a gamble that turns good.
From Arsène’s perspective, it would probably represent a natural progression too, because it wouldn’t be a Luis Suarez type level of world class elite footballer who completely relegates Giroud to a reserve. The signing will still give Giroud hope he can retain his place, but mean that there is a guy who is pushing hard to displace him on a permanent basis. Think Monreal and Gibbs.
Personally, I’d love us to buy big on an elite player, but at least I’ve been given enough information from various people and sources to suggest that Morata would be a buy that would make us more competitive in the title race.
And on that note, I’ll say my cheerie-bye for the day, so have a good’un.