El Centrocampista

Spanish star could provide the answers for Liverpool

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Talk of a potential Liverpool title challenge in the season ahead may be a little premature, however there is a certain sense of optimism sweeping through the Merseyside club at the moment.

Just five weeks after the end of a disappointing season for Liverpool and the subsequent exit of Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish, things seem a whole lot brighter for the reds as they begin preparations for their 51st consecutive season in the English top flight.

Former Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers has impressed many since taking the helm at the start of June and the club’s international players are playing at the top of their game at the European Championships – not least skipper Steven Gerard and super-sub Andy Caroll.

Carroll in particular looks to have finally found the form that persuaded Liverpool to pay Newcastle United £35 million for his services in January of last year, seemingly banishing the need for the reds to enter the market for a striker during the summer.

However reports appeared this week that Liverpool were showing an interest in Real Madrid’s young Spanish striker Alvaro Morata – once linked with Arsenal and Wigan Athletic.

Morata may not be a household name outside Spain, in fact the 19-year-old has only made a handful of senior appearance for the current La Liga champions, nonetheless that should not detract from the fact that the player is one of the most exciting young talents in his homeland.

The powerful forward  finished top scorer last season as his 17 goals helped fire the club’s B team, Real Madrid Castilla, to the second tier of Spanish football for the first time in five years.

However it appears Jose Mourinho does still not see Morata in his plans just yet.

Despite being regarded as a huge prospect by most at the club, the Portuguese coach told  a press conference last season: “The  player is not yet ready to be in the starting line up of Real Madrid. He needs to grow up and finish his formation with Castilla.”

Morata actually began his fledging career at cross-town rivals Atletico before moving to another Madrid side, Getafe in 2007. The youngster spent less than 12 months at los Azulones however before arriving at Real Madrid in 2008 where he  instantly began to show off his potential, winning two youth titles and scoring an impressive 34 goals.

His first season for Castilla certainly made an impact and he was picked for the Spanish under-19 squad that won the 2011 European Championships in Romania – also ending the tournament as top scorer.

Mourinho again mentioned Morata in press conferences ahead of last season, claiming he had ‘three strikers and Morata’ for the 2011-12 season and the player was also offered a new two-year extension on his contract, highlighting that he is well and truly being regarded as one for the future.

No matter how impressive Morata’s performances are however,  there is the lingering doubt as to whether he will ever really break through into a first team that is blessed with such incredible attacking talent already.

Recent history is not on his side, that is for sure. One only has to look at the struggles faced by other highly-regarded youngsters such as Pablo Sarabia, Sergio Canales and Pedro Leon to realise just how difficult it is going to be.

There is also a long list of players who could not make the grade at the Bernabeu but have since gone on to prove their worth elsewhere; Borja Valero, Alvaro Negredo, Juan Mata and Dani Parejo to name just a few.

And that brings us back to Liverpool. If Morata were to leave the Bernabeu, there could be few better places to go than Anfield, and few better managers to work under than Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irish tactician is a known admirer of the Spanish game and spent time in the country observing coaching techniques and the infrastructure. He also speaks Spanish.

Liverpool meanwhile, are certainly a club at the beginning of a new dawn. Long serving Dutchman Dirk Kuyt has already left the club for pastures new and there are rumours of more departures to follow.

In their place will come new blood as Brendan Rodgers looks to  install he own brand of beautiful football on a club that has failed to win the league title for over two decades. It will be a brand of football that fans of the Spanish game will be well-acustomed to.

Alvaro Morata would make a very exciting addition to the Liverpool squad if he were to arrive at Anfield, after all the memory is still fresh of the last young Spanish striker to arrive from Madrid almost five years ago.




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