Simeone has to revitalise Morata
Atlético are non-stop. Morata has now been brought in to bolster their attack, with the focus on their testing, make-or-break tie against Juve in the Champions League. They don’t need reminding that the final will be played at the Wanda Metropolitano this year - Atlético have already circled the date on their calendar. Three European Cup/Champions League finals and three defeats in the cruelest of circumstances. Now there is a final is booked into their snazzy new stadium, the pride of the club, and a sign that the rojiblanco faith and belief is unwavering, waiting for this to be the day. A target - a dream - that even carries the risk that, if they do manage to reach the hallowed final, they could come up against an old foe.
In the search to strengthen their Champions League cause, Atlético have brought in Morata, a player who, as we have been reminded in recent days, returns to his boyhood club. He failed to convince in the Atleti ranks and moved to Getafe, before ending up at Madrid, where he became a decent player. He began with Castilla, where he learned to play out wide under Joselu’s guiding hand, then on to Madrid, and from there to Juventus, back to Madrid again, on to Chelsea and now, at 26 and with a good few internationals under his belt, he comes full circle and returns to Atlético, his first home and the club he now hopes will be the definitive one. In terms of the other striking options at Atlético, Diego Costa has not been the same player since returning and Kalinic is merely a back-up.
But what exactly does Morata bring? We’ve seen him play well in spells but also toil and struggle. At Madrid he ran headfirst into the privileges granted to Benzema (who, finally, is beginning to justify them) and with Spain competition has come in different forms. He’s always been an ‘up to a point’ kind of player, a striker who just comes up short. He’s a good footballer with a decent goal return, but comes across as slightly whiny and dejected, something he has to shake off. And Simeone seems to be just the person to do the shaking. If not, Morata will end up on the margins of the squad, a story that keeps repeating itself. If Cholo can hit the nail on the head there is a great striker lurking in there somewhere.