Chelsea’s former Technical Director Micheal Emenalo revealed that Romelu Lukaku was Antonio Conte’s first choice to replace Diego Costa
The Costa-Conte fiasco was the biggest story to come out of Stamford Bridge in the summer. The Italian coach unceremoniously dumped his striker via a text message. Consequently, the Blues were in look out of a new striker desperately. After almost a month, Chelsea got their man. Alvaro Morata moved to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid for a fee of £58 million. The Spaniard has justified his fee up until now, scoring 9 league goals, assisting 4 and forming a lethal partnership with star man Eden Hazard.
However, Morata was not Antonio Conte’s first choice. It was reported during the summer that Chelsea was scouting Romelu Lukaku while Manchester United was closely monitoring Morata’s situation at Bernabeu. After a lot of back and forth with Real Madrid, Manchester United bought Romelu Lukaku from under Chelsea’s nose. The Blues now made a move for the 25-year-old and got him for much less than what they were expected to pay for Lukaku.
Michael Emenalo’s interview with talkSPORT
Michael Emenalo was Chelsea’s Technical up until the last month and now holds a similar post at Monaco. He told talkSPORT that Morata hadn’t been Conte’s first choice. He said, “As everybody knows in every walk of life, you develop an idea and you have a policy in mind and you have an intent, and if it doesn’t go the way you want, there is some level of disappointment.”
Alvaro Morata wasn’t Antonio Conte’s first choice to replace Diego Costa at Chelsea, confirms Michael Emenalo https://t.co/kmqIZjB5ju
— MAN UTD NEWS ⚽️ (@SirAlexStand) December 5, 2017
He did continue by saying that Conte does not regret his decision of signing the Spaniard and is very happy with Morata. “But I can tell you today Conte is extremely happy with Alvaro Morata, and I think that is down to Morata and is also down to the fantastic work they do at Cobham.”
The “summer striker swap” between Manchester United and Chelsea was well documented. Mourinho wanted Morata and Conte wanted Lukaku but somehow ended up with each other’s preferred striker. This, however, hasn’t affected either striker or their game. Both the strikers have scored valuable goals for their teams and look to be set for a long run at their respective clubs.
Morata is an extremely talented player, he was expected to be a hit in the Premier League. What has been surprising, however, is how quickly he has adjusted to the Premier League. His physical presence, movement and link up play have been very helpful for Conte’s men this season.