Alvaro Morata joined boyhood club Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan deal after staying for a year and a half at Chelsea.
Morata was signed for a club record fee at Stamford Bridge, but the Spain international failed to play to his best form for the Blues.
After a troubled first season under Antonio Conte, Morata was hoping for the best under Maurizio Sarri, but he also struggled and was behind Olivier Giroud before Sarri stuck with Hazard for the central striking role.
According to Sarri, Morata asked to leave the club as he targeted a return to Madrid, but this time Atletico for an 18-month loan deal with the option to make it permanent.
Morata made his debut in Atletico’s league clash against Real Betis, but Diego Simeone’s side lost 1-0 – their first defeat in 19 games, as Real Betis held on to a hard-fought victory after Sergio Canales slotted home a 65th-minute penalty.
After the game, Simeone was asked about Morata’s debut. Simeone replied: “I’m talking about the team. There were few occasions for the two [Morata and Antoine Griezmann]. ‘
“We could not find solutions when the game grew to a close. Morata had an important job in his first game. Let’s hope he continues to contribute.”
Morata only managed five league goals under Maurizio Sarri in the first half of this season, and was replaced by Gonzalo Higuain who moved to Chelsea on a 6-month loan deal from his parent club Juventus after cutting his deal with AC Milan.
After failing to find the net in his first two games for Chelsea, Higuain was in phenomenal form against Huddersfield Town, scoring a brace as Chelsea ran out 5-0 winners.
Maurizio Sarri revealed after the game that he was pleased with Higuain’s performance and that the link-up between Higuain and Eden Hazard was what pleased him the most during the game against Huddersfield.
“I know very well that, when he arrived, he wasn’t at the top of his physical condition,” Sarri said.
“Now he is improving. I’m really very happy because, apart from the goals, my feeling is he’s really suitable to play very close to Eden.
“I think that, on the pitch, they are really very suitable to play one close to the other. For us, this is very useful for Higuain because he will be able to score a lot of goals, but also for Eden.”