Antonio Conte has lauded "good guy" Alvaro Morata by saying that he is the sort of man you would allow your daughter to marry, but went on to say that he wants the young forward to add aggression to his game in the coming season.
Morata came in to replace Diego Costa over the summer and doesn't quite match up with his counterpart when it comes to aggression. Costa had been close to exiting Stamford Bridge for a while but his transfer to Atletico Madrid, which sees him move in a £58 million deal, was finally announced on Thursday.
Chelsea had already moved on to using Morata as their main striker ahead of the announcement, and Conte revealed that he was involved in the signing of the 24-year-old but that he also wants to see him develop further at the club.
“I know Alvaro well, he’s a really good guy, a good person,” Conte said. “I think he’s a good signing for Chelsea because Alvaro is only 24-years-old. I like him because he’s a complete player and also he has a lot of room to improve in every situation.
“Tactically, physically, technically, he’s very committed during the training sessions, his behaviour is always fantastic. He is a very polite player, I like this, also I like that he’s a good finisher, he feels the goal in every moment.
“He’s very good to understand which is the best position in the box to receive the ball and to anticipate where the ball is going. He’s a really good guy. He’s the sort of guy who you would let a daughter marry.
“He is a really good guy, a polite person. However, this is a process for him, when I speak about a lot of room for improvement it also means this aspect, to be more aggressive.”
Morata’s start to life at Chelsea has been positive with three goals and two assists in his first four starts. He will likely continue to lead the line against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Costa has been in a self-imposed exile in Brazil as he looked to force through a move to Atletico Madrid after being told he was no longer needed in a text message by Conte. Costa knew he was on his way out and during the Premier League title-winning season he is thought to have handed in multiple transfer requests and gone on strike.
Chelsea and Costa subsequently sought legal advice over the situation as the Spain international looked to move away from London where he never settled. All parties now seem pleased with the agreement in place that sees him move back to Madrid.
Conte had already wished Costa well after the official transfer announcement but added that he holds no grudge with the 28-year-old over the nature of his exit.
“Yeah, I would have no problem [shaking Costa’s hand],” Conte added. “I repeat, I think this is a lack of respect for my players [to talk about Costa] because Diego is an Atletico player.
“I think every single player was important last season, we won the title, we won the league, maybe it was a big surprise, and also to reach the final of the FA Cup. For this reason, I think every player performed in a fantastic way last season, I want to thank every single player who played last season for Chelsea and for me.”