After an FA Cup third round victory over Nottingham Forest in which Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata scored both goals, you would expect that all of the headlines post-match would be about the excellence of the Spanish centre-forward.

However, the miss that was sandwiched by both goals was so shocking that it’s been the only talking point since.

Just how can a front man of Morata’s quality miss a completely open goal from no more than three yards out?

Well, it happened. Watch the footage and weep. Suggestions that he missed it on purpose because he knew he was offside are mischievous.

The fact he wasn’t able to even hit the target, combined with a lack of any sort of celebration for either goal, is far more telling.

Here’s a player who, when at Juventus, was in devastating form. A scorer in the 2015 Champions League final against Barcelona, albeit he ended on the losing side, Morata’s positioning and eye for goal were top class.

After Real Madrid exercised their option to bring him home, the expectation was that he would take things up another notch, but with Zinedine Zidane not offering him as many minutes as he’d like, his confidence, evidently, took a battering.

Maybe a move to Chelsea would repair that? Certainly, by the way he started at Stamford Bridge, it appeared that Morata had a new lease of life, however, since then, things have gone progressively downhill.

He is utterly devoid of a striker’s instinct at present. Worse still, he’s become reactive to situations rather than proactive.

Defenders are finding it incredibly easy to keep him in check, and the associated lack of goals – Morata has just five in the Premier League – aren’t helping his cause.

What is next for Alvaro Morata?

Frankly, both player and club would be better if the Spaniard was taken out of the firing line, but rather than being left as a squad player, either a loan or permanent move elsewhere should have a positive effect.

Sevilla are known to be keen on taking him back to Spain this month, but with Wissam Ben Yedder and Andre Siva consistently amongst the goals in 2018/19, there’s no guarantee that he’d be a first choice in Andalusia either.

Odds of 8/1 are the same as if he signed for Barcelona which, frankly, is unlikely to happen, in January. As a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, a deal makes sense, but not as a short-term loan option.

There’s merit in the rumours of a swap with Gonzalo Higuain at AC Milan, and that’s probably why such a deal is priced at a short 2/1.

The Argentinian worked under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli and both are keen to rekindle the partnership, whilst Morata’s wife, Alice Campello, is Italian, and so from a personal perspective there are obvious advantages and persuasive arguments.

Not to mention that it could reignite the skills that everyone knows Alvaro Morata possesses but which have been sorely lacking during his time in England.

It might just see him win back his place in the Spain squad too.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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