3 reasons why Alvaro Morata can resurrect his career at Atletico Madrid
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata started his loan spell with Atletico Madrid in the worst way possible: a 1-0 away defeat by Real Betis last weekend. Having completed an 18-month loan deal to join the Rojiblancos last month and end his frustrating spell in west London behind, the 26-year-old revealed his happiness while stressing the desire to silence critics once again.
Naturally though, most of the English media branded his arrival a precursor to underachievement for Diego Simeone's side this season. Especially when Atleti had gone on a 19-match unbeaten run across all competitions following their surprise 4-0 thrashing by Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in late October.
So with that in mind, here's a look at three reasons why Morata can resurrect his career back in Spain.
#3 Motivation to prove doubters wrong, again
Now is not the first time in Morata's career that questions have been asked of him, whether he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level. After all, he was the forward Real Madrid were content to let depart for £18m in 2014 - yet after impressing in Turin with Juventus, they bought him back two years later.
Ultimately, the Premier League isn't cut out for every striker. You only have to look as far as Iago Aspas, Lucas Perez and Roberto Soldado as three recent examples of strikers who flourished in Spain but struggled in England's top-flight.
Some players thrive in different situations that aren't always suited to England's relentless style, Morata included. After all, the country where he's scored the most and created more chances is, unsurprisingly, his homeland.
At Juve, he was admired by supporters and not even close to being their best player - they had Paul Pogba, Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala all flourishing. 15 goals and 13 assists in 63 Serie A matches, those are just not good enough statistics for a player who wants to be regarded in the top echelon of strikers in the world. Nonetheless, he was still an important complementary piece in Massimiliano Allegri's jigsaw.
At Chelsea, especially with a £60m price-tag, more was expected of him. 16 goals in 47 league games, alongside three in 11 European fixtures (seven in the Champions League, four in Europa League), the Spaniard was never able to take his production to new heights.
Gonzalo Higuain, the Blues' shiny new toy, isn't too dissimilar to him, but an opportunity has nonetheless emerged for redemption. None of Atletico's forward line have a guaranteed place long-term at the Wanda Metropolitano.
With an option to buy (£48.5m) inserted as part of his deal, there's no reason why he cannot flourish and earn a permanent deal after all that has happened. Only time will tell.