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The £202 Million Man: Rating Alvaro Morata’s impact during his five spells at different clubs

Alvaro Morata is on the move once again after completing a season-long loan move to Juventus, the forward rejoining the Italian champions after previously spending a two-season spell in Turin.

Juventus will pay Atletico Madrid an initial fee of €10m for the loan arrangement with an option included to make the deal permanent for €45m at the season’s end, a figure that if activated will see Morata overhaul Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo to become the second most expensive player of all-time in cumulative transfer fees.

It is a staggering statistic for a 27-year-old player who has never once scored more than 15 league goals in a season, Morata seemingly being handed chance after chance at Europe’s leading sides despite failing to ever truly settle or impress.

Following the Spaniard’s latest venture with Juventus, we’ve decided to look back at his previous spells at clubs and rate his impact at each:

Real Madrid

After spells in the youth systems of Atletico Madrid and Getafe, Morata crossed over to Real Madrid and slowly worked his way through the club’s academy ranks, scoring prolifically for their youth and reserve sides.

He was handed brief cameos during the reign of Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu, scoring his first senior goal against Levante, before earning more regular involvement under Carlo Ancelotti.

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He was, however, largely restricted to a substitutes’ role given the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in attack as Real Madrid lifted a Champions League and Copa del Rey double during the 2013/14 season.

Morata scored eight league goals despite starting on just three occasions in La Liga, the youngster’s impact off the bench attracting the interest of Juventus at the end of the campaign.

Rating: 5/10

Juventus

Morata was allowed to leave Real Madrid in search of first-team opportunities and joined Juventus in a €20m deal, though the Spanish giants ensured that a buy-back clause was in place should the young forward flourish in Italian football.

The Spaniard competed alongside Carlos Tevez and compatriot Fernando Llorente for a place in the Bianconeri attack but enjoyed a promising debut season despite failing to command an automatic starting place, scoring 15 goals in all competitions including several vital strikes.

Morata’s return of eight league goals in 11 starts helped Juventus to be crowned as Serie A champions once more, whilst he played a vital role in the club’s run to the Champions League final, scoring in both legs of the semi-final victory over former club Real Madrid and his side’s equaliser in the final defeat to Barcelona.

Despite a second successive domestic double the following year, Morata struggled to kick-on from that debut season amid competition for a first-team place from summer signings Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.

He scored 27 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions across his spell with Juventus, enough to entice Real Madrid into activating his buy-back clause.

Rating: 7/10

Real Madrid

Real Madrid turned to a familiar face when seeking additional firepower and competition for Karim Benzema in the summer of 2016, and it initially seemed like a shrewd move following Morata’s career-best season at the Bernabeu.

Despite once more finding himself behind the aforementioned Frenchman in the pecking order, Morata proved an excellent understudy and reached 20 goals in all competitions for the first time to finish as the club’s second leading scorer behind only Cristiano Ronaldo.

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The forward’s 15 league goals came in just 14 starts as Los Blancos were crowned as champions of Spain, in addition to lifting the Champions League for the third time in just four seasons, Morata coming on as a late substitute in the final victory over former club Juventus.

It seemed like the start of a potential breakthrough for a player once tipped to become one of the world’s finest finishers, but a big-money bid from the Premier League saw Morata leave Real Madrid for a second time after just a single season.

Rating: 7/10

Chelsea

Chelsea smashed their transfer-record to sign the star from Real Madrid as the club looked to build on the title-winning debut season of Antonio Conte, the west London side seeking a new spearhead after the bullish Diego Costa had fallen out-of-favour at Stamford Bridge.

Morata marked his Premier League debut with a goal despite a shock home defeat to Burnley, before enjoying a prolific start to his Chelsea career with six goals in his first six appearances, including a clinical hat-trick at Stoke.

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The Spaniard’s strength and aerial ability seemed perfectly suited to the demands of English football but after a bright start the £60m signing began to suffer, the forward notably losing confidence in himself following a series of poor performances and missed chances.

He won the FA Cup in that debut season but soon went from marquee signing to figure of fun, scoring just 16 goals over an 18-month spell with Chelsea before being loaned out to Atletico Madrid.

Morata later lifted the lid on his struggles in the Premier League and says injuries and confidence were a part of his issues, revealing to Goal that he felt he had even lost the faith of his teammates.

“I had lost confidence in myself previously. I was very upset by the opinion of the people in England. I think they caught me in the middle of everything.

“I didn’t quite feel loved or appreciated by the club or the fans. I started very well at Chelsea, but an injury in the end leaves you a bit stuck.

“At Chelsea there came a time when my team-mates, except for the Spaniards, well… you know, it is not the same when you play and you know that you give a pass to someone who is not going to do as well. You do not give the pass in the same way. Everyone who has played football once will understand that.”

Rating: 3/10

Atletico Madrid

His fortunes faltering in English football, Atletico Madrid brought their former youth player back to the Spanish capital on an initial loan agreement, the club possessing the option to sign Morata permanently should he prove to be a success.

Morata’s initial performances showed promise as he scored six goals in 13 starts following his winter window arrival from Stamford Bridge, the star’s showings persuading Atletico to spend an eyebrow-raising £58m to secure the player on a permanent basis.

The forward’s first full season saw him finish as the club’s leading scorer with 16 goals in all competitions, including a late strike to help eliminate holders Liverpool in the Champions League last-16.

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A disappointing campaign for Atleti has prompted change, however, with Morata failing to prove the all-action spearhead Diego Simeone craves, not since the first spell of Diego Costa have the Spanish side been fully content with their attacking options.

Despite his underwhelming 18-month spell at the Wanda Metropolitano, however, Morata will have yet another opportunity at a European superpower, returning to familiar surroundings in Juventus with a significant point to prove as the critics prepare to take aim.

Rating: 4/10

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