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Tuesday May 24 2016
Euro 2016 Squad Selector: Alvaro Morata

In-form striker Alvaro Morata has made it into Spain’s provisional squad and looks certain to go to Euro 2016, writes Mike Barnes.

Alvaro Morata celebrated his call-up to Spain’s provisional 25-man squad ahead of Next month’s European Championships by scoring an extra-time winner for Juventus against Milan on Saturday to win the Coppa Italia and seal a second consecutive domestic double for his side.

Morata’s inclusion by Vicente del Bosque is deserved, despite a modest return of 12 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions during the season and, with the surprise omission of Fernando Torres, the former Real Madrid man seems sure to make the cut.

Emerging through the youth system at Real Madrid, Morata made his senior debut for Los Blancosin 2010, going on to make 52 appearances, score 11 goals and earn a Champions League winner’s medal before making the €20m move to Juventus.

Morata made his mark in last season’s Champions League, scoring in both legs as Juventus eliminated his former club in the semi-finals. He was on target again in the final in Berlin, netting the equaliser for Juve before Barcelona went on to win 3-1.

Still just 23, Morata has plenty of time to add to the eight caps he has already earned for La Roja. The first of those was in Euro 2016 qualifying as Spain overcame Belarus 3-0 in Huelva, Morata appearing as an 80th-minute substitute for Isco Alarcon. Morata’s first and so far only international goal was his 28th-minute winner in a 1-0 win qualifying win over Ukraine in Seville.

Selected by Del Bosque for Spain’s recent friendlies, Morata played wide on the left in a 4-5-1 formation, starting against Italy and appearing late on against Romania. With limited forward choices in Del Bosque’s squad, Morata looks to have a good chance of starting when Spain play their first game against the Czech Republic in Toulouse on June 13.

The Coach does have attack-minded players among his midfielders - notably David Silva,PedroRodriguez and Cesc Fabregas - to broaden his attacking options, but Morata is potentially the ideal choice to dribble and run at defences or to play a wider role. Better finishing would make him more of an automatic choice.

Tall and powerful, Morata is good in the air, able to hold the ball up and with good finishing ability, despite that being missing during much of the current campaign. Pace, energy and work-rate are attributes that will have endeared him to Del Bosque alongside his technique, opportunism and positional sense.

Del Bosque likes versatile players andMorata can play either ina centre-forward role, just behind the striker or out wide on the wing. Meanwhile, the nine yellow cards he accumulated for Juventus during the course of the season represents the more aggressive side to his game.

Morata has been linked with a move away from Italy, possibly to Arsenal but, for the time being his focus will be on France, where he looks set to make an impact.

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