Coming to Chelsea almost made me depressed, former club transfer record signing admits

Photo: AP

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Chelsea paid a club record transfer fee to sign up Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid back in 2017.

Chelsea paid £58m to sign Morata, but the Spaniard didn’t live up to expectations despite a return of 24 goals from 72 games.

Morata had started his Chelsea career on a fine note with 8 goals in his first 8 games for the club. Afterwards, he experienced a long drought and came under intense pressure which he never seemed to recover from.

According to the 28-year-old, he almost suffered depression at Chelsea, and he had to see a psychologist.

“I’ve never had depression and I hope I never do, but I came close,” Morata said in an interview with El Mundo. “I don’t believe it is given the importance that it should.

“When your head doesn’t work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn’t matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself. Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle.”

“Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train,” he added. “You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot.

“Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn’t seen as something normal to see a psychologist – but inevitably, it has to be something normal. Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times.

“Had I had a professional, close to me during my [first season] at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me.”

Morata didn’t last long at Chelsea as he left for Atletico Madrid in January 2019, before joining former club Juventus prior to the current campaign.

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.