A couple of months ago I remember checking out a highlight reel of Real Madrid superstar youngster Rodriguez Jese, a player billed to be the next big thing to come out of the Real Madrid academy. There was no doubt he looked good, but it was the clinical finishing of one of his teammates that really caught my eye.
I couldn’t see the name on the back of his shirt, so in customary fashion whilst I was meant to be doing some work, I started researching who the player might be. It didn’t take me long to work out that the player that had caught my eye was Alvaro Morata.
The reason he grabbed my attention in the first place was actually his positional play, but before long this was eclipsed by his deadly finishing. Rarely do you see such composure at such a young age. From this point a small obsession started, not a creepy type of celeb stalker/girl I have fancied my whole life obsession, I simply wanted to know more about this talented youngster, of whom I had already seen enough of to realise he could have an exceptionally bright future ahead of him.
Interestingly, Morata has popped up in this summer’s transfer rumours after being linked with a move to Spurs as part of the Gareth Bale deal as well rumblings earlier in the summer. Whether this “you take one of ours, we will take one of yours” transfer rumour has any legs or is pure fabrication, it seems timely to have a look at the Spain U21 international.
The 20-year-old Spanish forward is a classic number 9 that has been compared to a few of the Spanish old guard, but because of his build, playing style, looks, not to mention the fact he plays for Real Madrid, Fernando Morientes is the a player he is often compared with. Many expect Alvaro Morata to become one of the best number 9′s Spain have had, but the weight of expectation hasn’t fazed the youngster so far.
Standing at 6ft 2ins, he is perfectly suited to the lone striker role that seems to be the choice of a new football generation like the 3-5-2 had its time during the ’90s. Morata uses his size and strength well and is unsurprisingly good in the air and apt at playing with his back towards goal, holding balls up and bringing others in to play. He dribbles well in his stride, getting in behind defenders, can make his own goals and is a player that can finish from anywhere. Add in a pinch of pace and lashings of technique and one can see why he has the makings of a world-class centre forward.
Goals haven’t been hard to come by for the youngster either. This summer, four goals in the European Under-21 Championships were enough to secure him the golden boot, on the back of a season where he scored 12 goals in 18 games for Real Madrid B and managed two goals in 15 appearances (usually as sub) for Real Madrid XI. Morata also won the Golden Boot at the European Under-19 in 2011 with six goals in the tournament.
The Spaniard initially came to the attention of a wider audience in 2010 after scoring 34 goals in a season for Real Madrid’s youth team but, despite not being able to replicate such scintillating form after making the step up to the senior stage, his record for Real Madrid B is a goal every other game – always a great return for any striker, especially one so young.
Whether Morata will leave Real Madrid as part of the Bale deal or otherwise remains to be seen. It is well known that Madrid rate him highly and see him as the future of theirs and Spain’s frontline over the next 10 years, so Spurs’ fans should avoid getting too carried away with paper talk for the time being.
Having said that, Morata is a player that is definitely “one-to-watch” and it won’t be long until the whole world gets to see his talents in front of goal. If he does remain at Madrid, this could be his breakthrough season, considering that Karim Benzema is the only out-and-out striker at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal for the moment.
One thing is for sure, Morata has too much talent to just warm the bench, so keep an eye out.