Coming up through the ranks to break into the first-team at Real Madrid is no easy task – look no further than the Galacticos streaming in on a yearly basis.
Alvaro Morata knows the feeling well. After joined the Merengues as a 16-year-old, he faced the daunting task of making his way into the senior set-up at the Bernabeu.
The Spaniard earned his debut in December 2010 but wouldn’t score in La Liga for nearly two years, though continued to be tipped as a star of the future.
Last term, he at last became a first-tem regular under boss Carlo Ancelotti. That’s a loose term for a youngster at Real Madrid, however.
Morata saw 560 minutes of league action all season but scored eight times – an impressive ratio of a goal per 70 minutes.
Throughout the campaign, he was linked with a move away from Madrid. In January Morata was heavily tipped to join Arsenal, but no deal every materialised.
When the summer rolled around, the Gunners were brought up as top suitors once again. But this time Juventus were also in the discussion – and ultimately emerged with Morata’s signature.
And the 22-year-old says choosing the Serie A champions was a matter of the club’s forthright commitment to bringing him to Turin.
He told Cadena Ser: “During the summer I was training alone, just waiting for my move to Turin. I had offers from England, but in difficult times you have to put your faith in those you can trust."
“Juventus directors had literally been to my house telling me they wanted to sign me, so [joining] was a decision made out of loyalty."
“I feel a kind of responsibility to do well. A lot of people advised me against this move. They told me to go to a mid-table team. I don’t think I made the wrong choice.”
Interestingly enough, Morata has a record for Juventus thus far that is strikingly similar to that of his final season in the Spanish capital.
So far he’s scored four Serie A goals in 207 minutes of play – a goal every 52 minutes – starting once and coming off the bench six times for boss Max Allegri.
Morata is in direct competition with countryman Fernando Llorente to partner Carlos Tevez up front, a battle that in time, many expect the junior Spaniard to win.
Arsenal moved on from their reported interest in him by signing Danny Welbeck for £16 million – the same amount Juventus paid for Morata – who has done well for the Gunners.
Juventus won out for the 22-year-old due to their personal touch and all parties seem to be satisfied with the move – all Morata could’ve asked for in choosing a new employer when leaving Real Madrid.