Alvaro Morata has today joined Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season.
The Spanish striker departs following a one-and-a-half season spell at Stamford Bridge, a period in which he scored 24 goals in 72 appearances.
In moving to Atletico, who are second in La Liga, Morata re-joins the club where his career began.
A summer signing from Atletico’s city-based rivals Real Madrid in the summer of 2017, Morata scored on his Premier League debut for Chelsea, heading home after coming off the bench in our opening game of last season against Burnley.
He continued to score with regularity during his first half-season, including a hat-trick at Stoke and a winner against Manchester United. By the turn of the year, Morata had scored 12 times, although injury problems disrupted his start to 2018.
Following the arrival of Olivier Giroud in January, striking responsibilities were shared between the pair during the second part of the campaign. Morata scored three goals, including a header in our FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton at Wembley.
Having played the last few minutes as we beat Manchester United in the final of that competition, Morata was selected by new manager Maurizio Sarri to lead the line in our opening match of this season away at Huddersfield.
His first goal of the campaign arrived a week later in a 3-2 win over Arsenal, and after scoring three times throughout October, the following month began with Morata’s brace helping us to a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Sarri’s preference for using Eden Hazard as a central striker during the last couple of months, however, has restricted Morata’s involvement, although he did score both of our goals in a 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Nottingham Forest earlier this month.
We wish Alvaro the very best of luck for his loan period.