Atletico Madrid and Alvaro Morata have a chequered history. An initial loan spell in 2018 convinced the club that he was their number nine and worth paying €35m for in the summer.
Yet in the following season, there was a distinct lack of ‘feeling’ between manager Diego Simeone and his striker as they say in Spain. That much was obvious and let to Morata being cast out on loan to Juventus for the following season, with former right-back Juanfran even admitting that their relationship wasn’t the best.
This summer Morata has returned to Madrid though and it appears he is looking to make it work with Simeone.
Morata gave an interview to the club media and was making all the right noises. When asked about his individual targets for the season, Morata’s answer would likely have gone down well with Simeone at least.
“On an individual level the successes that you can aspire to should be few in number, in the end you must think about helping the team as much as possible with goals and assists, but the most important thing is winning titles. That is what I want and what my colleagues want.”
“On a personal level, setting challenges doesn’t matter, the important thing is being competitive as a group and fighting for everything until the end.”
Whether the two can make it work, is a different matter. It seems unlike Simeone to renege on his opinion of a player, but Morata’s presence may have become a financial necessity forced on him by the club. There is no doubt Morata could be useful to Atleti in some shape or form, but it might depend on their ability to repair their relationship first.