Ex-Liverpool Man Danny Murphy Gives His Honest Verdict On Why Morata’s Absence Is A Good Thing For Chelsea

Alvaro Morata missed Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night because of a mixture of injury and fatigue. The striker was distinctly off-colour during the 1-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday, after having struggled in the preceding week through illness and a knock sustained in training.

Chelsea’s top scorer, with 10 goals, Morata has had to shoulder a heavy burden up front in his first Premier League season, due to a dearth of quality alternatives.

Apart from the Spaniard, manager Antonio Conte remains increasingly concerned by the pressure that the hectic schedule is placing on his first-team resources. He has become increasingly candid about fatigue, which he believes is dogging his squad. So he could take a dip in the January transfer market to add fresh faces.

However, former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy believes the Premier League champions look like a much better team when Morata is not in the starting XI. After Morata didn’t travel with the squad to West Yorkshire, although Michy Batshuayi was available for the Blues, Conte decided to start with a front three of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro.

The trio was buzzing – with both Willian and Pedro getting on the scoresheet – and Murphy feels the two goalscorers need to start regularly for the Premier League champions.

“I think the way they play with the three of them is better,” Murphy was quoted in a report by football.london.

“It’s like how they played when they won the league. And in effect you have two number 10s, whoever it is, they rotate positions really well, they’re all clever, they’re all on the same page.

“Morata’s done brilliantly by the way, he could play with either two of them but watching Chelsea play recently, with Pedro and Willian both on the bench, I think that’s been a negative.

“Because I think it’s done to include (Cesc) Fabregas in a three-man midfield and you lose something defensively when Fabregas plays, even though he’s brilliant going the other way,” the player-turned pundit added.

Morata has been really good for us in his debut season in England. His link-up play with Hazard has been a treat to watch and at times in the Huddersfield game, his absence was felt.

It is sad to see Batshuayi get ignored once again when he looked to be the ideal candidate to replace the ex-Madrid man against the Terriers. Clearly, Conte doesn’t trust the Belgian and our gaffer needs to bring in a quality back-up in January and offload Batshuayi.

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