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ATLÉTICO MADRID

Morata and Costa competing for time with Atlético and Spain

Diego Costa y Morata, en un entrenamiento con España. Ahora serán compañeros en el Atlético.

PACO PAREDES

DIARIO AS

Álvaro Morata and Diego Costa will fight for minutes directly at Atlético Madrid and under Luis Enrique with Spain as they have never played together.

Diego Simone has Álvaro Morata to call on after his signing was announced on Monday afternoon and he will compete with Diego Costa at the top of Atlético's attack for the rest of this season and next. Costa underwent surgery on his foot at the end of last year and remains out but the thought is he will return to partner Griezmann in Simeone's side. But Morata will push him to the limit with Atlético and for Spain.

Luis Enrique will be watching Atlético even more closely now as the pair battle for time in his plans and with the rojiblancos. Since he took over the Spain job, he has not had Costa available to him due to injury problems and personel commitments while Morata has only played in a couple of friendlies. While both should be figuring prominently, this season has been a little bit strange for the pair and Luis Enrique has instead turned to Iago Aspas and Rodrigo.

If Morata can manage to accumulate minutes and merits (goals, in other words) he should enjoy more responsibility in the national team. Luis Enrique will announce his next squad in March and Aspas is currently injured. That means Rodrigo, Alcácer and one more striker will be added to the list. It might be a little early at that stage for Costa but if he returns from injury without problems, it will be between himself and Atlético's newest signing.

Diego Costa and Morata have never played together

Simeone might be thinking that they can co-exist together on the same field but they have never been on the field, on the same team together. They were opponents during the Madrid derbies when they were both in the capital previously. At Chelsea, Morata arrived as Costa was leaving and with Spain, they have played in the same games but never at the same time.

Morata replaced Costa twice in 2016-17 for the national side. In the six other games where they were in the same squad, one of them was always on the bench.

So everything points to Morata and Costa being in direct competition as a partner for Griezmann and Luis Enrique will be keeping a keen eye on who wins the battle.