Morata: Critics already killing me!

Alvaro Morata have been spotted with his agent and Juventus director
Alvaro Morata have been spotted with his agent and Juventus director

Alvaro Morata became Chelsea's record signing this summer
Alvaro Morata became Chelsea’s record signing this summer

Alvaro Morata believes critics are already “killing” him at Chelsea, although the striker accepts his price tag invites extra scrutiny.

The Spain international made his competitive debut as a 74th-minute substitute in the clash with Arsenal at Wembley and missed from 12 yards as his side lost 4-1 to the Gunners in the shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.

Morata, who joined from Real Madrid for a reported initial fee of £58million, had only made two International Champions Cup appearances for Chelsea prior to last Sunday’s encounter following a lengthy transfer saga.

The 24-year-old believes the significant fee – a club record for Antonio Conte’s side – means he is likely to face additional criticism but he says it is something which motivates him to succeed.

“I admit it’s a very important amount but I have the personality to play calmly and to stay on my path,” he told Marca. “I’ve only had two pre-season games, 15 minutes officially and a missed penalty, and they’re already killing me, so I know what’s ahead.
“It’s the price you have to pay for such a big transfer. It’s something that motivates me and makes me work harder every day. I know that twice as many people are looking at me now.
“It’s been a long, strange summer, in which I’ve had to make decisions. I wasn’t fresh and I couldn’t train well. Now I have to adapt to a new team with an Italian coach who’s very tactical. But I’ve already adapted and I’m excited to play.”

Morata has said previously that he was motivated to join Chelsea in order to work with Conte, who signed him for Juventus three years ago before leaving to take charge of Italy.

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The striker admits it has been challenging to adapt to the manager’s demands which, he says, are different to those of any coach he has worked with in the past.
“I have to understand Conte well. He asks me the opposite of what my previous coaches have asked me. I’ll play in different positions and in different systems of play,” he said.

“I don’t think I need to adapt to the Premier League, but to my new coach.
“I knew he wanted me and I talked to him a number of times. In a way, I felt indebted to him because he signed me for Juve and then had to go.”

Morata, twice a Champions League winner with Madrid and a league champion in Spain and Italy, is determined to enjoy success with Chelsea after making the tough decision to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I think I had to leave Madrid,” he added. “It was a difficult situation; I was leaving a team that’s my home and who are winning everything at the moment.

“But it was a personal decision; it was to do with sporting ambition. If it had been for my team-mates, I would have stayed. I left because I want to succeed in football, to do great things. I’m at the best place to do that.”