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Author: Fabio Barcellona

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The first question the Juventus football transfer market must answer is the fate of Alvaro Morata, in the hands of Real Madrid because of the “buy back” option included two years ago in the player’s transfer contract by the bianconeri.

In these two seasons with Juventus, Morata shone particularly in the cup matches. Some of his memorable goals are the ones scored in the first and second leg against “his” Real Madrid in the last Champions League semi-finals, followed by the goal in the final against Barcelona and, most recently, the winning goal he scored after coming off the bench in the Coppa Italia final against Milan. He is a player that gives the best of himself in high pressure challenges, a quality which can certainly not be underestimated for a top team.

The qualities of the Spanish centre forward are rather noteworthy. Alvaro Morata is a forward with excellent technique and athleticism. He is unstoppable when he advances with the ball, thanks to his significant sprinting speed combined with perfect ball control with both feet. This quality makes him a vital attacker in open spaces.

His individual technique is top shelf, particularly the way he handles first control, always thinking ahead and preparing immediately for the next play. In the penalty area he is an excellent finisher, shooting well with either foot, making outstanding headers and often finding the right position from which to be dangerous to his opponents.


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Morata’s ballistic skills: here he scores the winning goal in an away match against Manchester City with a bending shot on the far post with his left, his weak foot

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The combination of these skills has often convinced managers to consider Alvaro Morata as a particularly versatile forward. His athleticism and his wide range of action give him the ability to play as a single striker, covering the entire front of attack.

His technique allows him to pair up with any type of teammate in a two-forward partnership, regardless of whether he is covering the role of first or second striker. His skills in more wide open spaces and his defensive contribution imply use as a wide forward.
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Morata’s first control: pressed from behind by the defender, he controls the ball with his left foot, immediately setting it up for the next play

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With his first control, without touching the ball again, Morata (who received the pass from the left side of the pitch), is already set to redirect game play toward the right side of the pitch.

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Although he has already been tested at extremely high levels, Morata is a forward that still has plenty of room for technical and tactical improvements. The Spaniard is an excellent instinctual player, but he demonstrates some limits in terms of in depth play comprehension. When he dribbles, passes and runs off the ball his decision-making is not always good.

This makes Morata a footballer who is still not very associative and it limits his performance, especially when used on the wing. Technically, he has room to improve in one-on-one duels against opposing defenders where all too often, despite his physical strength, he is unsuccessful. Possible growth in this area and in reading plays would make Morata an even better player than he is already.
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One of Morata’s play-reading errors: with the penalty area well occupied by his teammates he delays the play, sending Mandzukic offsides and he chooses to shoot from a difficult position covered by a defender who will block the shot

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At the value set for the “buy back” it seems that it would be truly difficult to find a young forward at this level and potentially still improving. Therefore, Morata is a golden opportunity for Real Madrid that would have to decide what to do with their home-grown striker.
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Fabio Barcellona
Fabio Barcellona, chemical engineer and UEFA B Coach. He writes for L’Ultimo Uomo

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