Antonio Conte explains shock reasoning behind Alvaro Morata’s absence vs Barcelona
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged the club’s supporters to remain patience with new signing Alvarao Morata during his tricky debut season in England, he told Football Espana.
The Spaniard has this evening been left on the bench at the Nou Camp with Olivier Giroud starting up top with Eden Hazard and Willian either side him.
In the summer, the Blues shelled out a staggering £56m to acquire the services of Morata from Real Madrid; but having netted just 12 goals in 37 appearances this season, he has been dropped to the bench in the club’s biggest game of the season.
Chelsea line-up vs Barcelona
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 14, 2018
Giroud is handed a shock start against Barcelona this evening, named as Chelsea’s vocal point ahead of both Morata and Hazard.
The Blues have made just one change to the side that beat Crystal Palace on Saturday with Victor Moses replacing Davide Zappacosta at left-wing back.
Since his arrival in England, Morata has struggled to adjust to life at Stamford Bridge and due to his poor form this season he has been dropped to the bench against Barcelona.
Conte believes that the forward must be given time to settle in his new surroundings and given time by the club’s fans before being judged as a success or not.
Conte told: Football Espana:
“It is easy to forget that this is Morata’s first full season [in the first team] in his career.
“For most of his career, Alvaro has been on the bench at both Real Madrid and Juventus and only had the opportunities when first choice strikers were injured.
“We must show great patience with him because he is very important for what he can offer us now and in the future.”
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March 14, 2018 at 12:42PM