Chelsea were right to sell Diego Costa back to Atletico Madrid, according to Gianfranco Zola – but the Italian is unconvinced that Alvaro Morata is an adequate replacement.
Spain striker Morata joined the Blues over the summer in a £57million deal from Real Madrid and has made the perfect start to life at Stamford Bridge, having scored seven goals in seven matches in all competitions so far.
Morata is already well on his way to bettering Costa’s tally of 22 from last campaign but Zola is unsure that Morata is “on the same level”.
“I have no doubt that it was right for him to go,” Zola told Sky Sports. “He probably has a problem, the team is not made by one player, and I think it’s better for him to go.
“On the temporal level Morata is not on the same level as Costa. Technically he is a great player, he obviously has a lot of qualities, good in the air, good feet.
“He has been with Juventus, Real Madrid, big teams, but didn’t play regularly, and I want to find out why. And this year I think I’m going to get the answers.”
Craig Bellamy, also appearing on The Debate on Sky Sports, thinks Morata can “add something different” to Chelsea.
“Costa is a brilliant player, Chelsea fans love him, he is always a threat, always involved, but clearly something happened,” Bellamy said. “And that’s between the manager and himself. It helps that if Costa does leave you can bring in Morata.
“At Real and Juventus there is always going to be competition for places. But you look at Chelsea at this moment, he does look like the main man. I think he could add something different to Chelsea, especially away from home.
“I love the way he is always on the shoulder. He can do that a little bit more, and a little bit better than what Costa did.”