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Sarri encourages Morata, laments continued struggles

Greece Soccer Europa League

Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, center, duels for the ball with PAOK’s Yevhen Khacheridi, left, and Fernando Varela during a Group L Europa League soccer match between PAOK and Chelsea at Toumba stadium in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)


Aside from Chelsea’s opponents, there are few people in the world of soccer who don’t want to see Alvaro Morata at his best.

[ RECAP: PAOK 0-1 Chelsea ]

The former Juventus and Real Madrid striker is delightful when on his game, but hasn’t been in form for some time.

Morata missed several chances to bury PAOK in Greece on Thursday, as Chelsea only managed a single goal in their Europa League win.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was frustrated for the 25-year-old, who was in position to score but failed to get the job done. Morata has one goal this season, and scored just three of his 15 goals last season after the calendar turned to 2018.

“When it is time to kill the match we have to kill the match. Alvaro Morata has to gain confidence with one, two, three goals. I am not able to give him confidence. In this match he has had three, four opportunities. He was unlucky.

“I hope for him that in the future I can try to help him, but the confidence can come only with goals. I have to say also, for maybe the first time in this season Alvaro was ready in the box. He was on the ball and was active.”

There’s a chance that Morata will just simply never reach his potential as a finisher. His 15 goals in all competitions last season are the second-most he’s posted, five behind the 20 he bagged for Real in his last season at the Bernabeu.

We sure hope he finds that consistency, though, because he’s capable of producing some of the most attractive striker play in the world.

Follow @NicholasMendola