Danny Murphy - Alvaro Morata still under pressure to perform
Former Liverpool defender Danny Murphy feels Alvaro Morata is under pressure to perform at Chelsea despite making a strong start to his Premier League career. The Spain international recently scored the winner in the 1-0 triumph over Manchester United, and this has taken his tally to seven goals in just 11 top-flight outings.
In a reported covered by Evening Standard, Murphy feels Morata still has much to prove at Stamford Bridge with his fitness not being one of his best qualities, he said: "Alvaro Morata has made a great start to life at Chelsea but he needs to show he has the physical capacity to stay on the pitch week after week. During Morata’s spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, he was hampered by niggling injuries at different times."
The former Real Madrid man is presently the preferred striker up front ahead of Michy Batshuayi, and Murphy believes the Spaniard has to withstand the pressure of remaining fit through the campaign. Regardless of this, the 40-year-old does not question the qualities of the Los Blancos graduate.
He added: "The pressure on Morata to stay fit is greater because it is clear that Antonio Conte does not really trust Michy Batshuayi. We will see over time whether he can become more consistent in this respect but you cannot argue with his quality."
The Blues take on West Bromwich in the Premier League following the international break, and they will be confident of securing a victory - given the Baggies dismal run of late. Tony Pulis' side have not clinched a win since the second game week of the campaign, and their defence has looked vulnerable for once under the experienced manager.
Chelsea are currently nine points behind table-toppers Manchester City, and their title defence could be defined by their performance during the festive period where they face Liverpool and Arsenal on the road. The Blues also have League Cup and Champions League duties to contend in between, and Conte would surely want his side to remain in all competitions heading into the New Year.