Were it not for the intense speculation regarding Carlo Ancelotti’s position at the helm of Real Madrid (speculation which as everyone knows is common at the Bernabeu), more might have been made of Alvaro Morata’s performances for Juventus over the two legs of the Champions League Semi Final.
As the dust begins to settle and the Madrid hierarchy come to terms with a season In which Los Blancos failed to secure either the Copa, Liga or Champions League, rumours have begun to circulate over a potential return to the capital club for Morata.
It is not the first time that Madrid have had a former player come back to haunt them; Fernando Morientes helped Monaco put Real to the sword in the 2003-2004 Champions League campaign, coincidentally a player whose playing style drew comparisons with that of Morata when he first broke into the Real Madrid team.
However there was more to Morata’s play than two goals, showing fantastic game intelligence in holding the ball up and linking well with his midfield. Morata had already had a very productive first season with the Old Lady prior to his two goals against his former club, a season which shows just how much the player has matured and improved since leaving Madrid.
He has displaced Fernando Llorente as the club’s first choice striker alongside Carlos Tevez and has also scored crucial goals for Juventus, against Milan, Dortmund and of course the two against Madrid.
Madrid sold Morata for 22 million euros but the deal includes a buy back option which is valued at 30 million euros. The buy back clause perhaps indicates that Real knew with regular game time that he would develop into an elite level striker.
The player himself does not seem too keen to return to his boyhood club, perhaps due to the fact that he may have doubts as to whether he would be an automatic starter due to the presence of Karim Benzema; another factor could be that the Turin giants look to be establishing themselves as a European giant again (at the time of writing Juventus’ dreams of a potential treble are still very real).
There is no doubting the talent of the forward, illustrated clearly by the number of top clubs who were interested in his signature last summer. He perhaps should have been given a lot more game time at Madrid and for many people he will probably be the Spanish national team’s first choice striker for many years to come.
The biggest issue seems to be how much faith the club would show him – whether or not they would make him the regular number nine, as there is no doubt that the player himself will not want to return to being a back up.
The academy is stronger than most neutrals realise, having produced the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado, Juan Mata, Borja Valero and most recently Jese Rodriguez (a player who in his breakout season was a strong contender to be named in Del Bosque’s World Cup squad before an infortunate injury ended his season prematurely).
Some have expressed concern over Madrid’s signing of Brazilian full back Danilo and what it may mean for current right back and Spanish national team player Dani Carvajal, and whether it perhaps suggests a lack of faith from Madrid in young Spanish players.
As previously mentioned the rumours of a return so far have only been minor and at the present time it looks as though Morata will continue with the Italian giants into next season. However, if Morata continues to perform in the way he has in recent months the clamour from the Madrid media will grow and grow and 30million euros may begin to look like a bargain for the Bernabeu hierarchy.