Alvaro Morata has been Real Madrid’s focal point of transfer gossip during recent weeks, with speculation that the young Spaniard is set to leave the Bernabeu.
David Kent of the Daily Mail has linked the Spanish U21 star with a loan move to Tottenham Hotspur, when the transfer window opens in January. Meanwhile, John Cross of the Daily Mirror has inked details of a move to Spurs' bitter rivals, Arsenal.
The 2013/14 campaign was thought to be Morata’s breakthrough season for Los Blancos, but thus far his season has stuttered following limited appearances.
Despite this, the 21-year-old has already matched last season’s goal tally of two La Liga goals in approximately half the minutes he accumulated during the previous campaign (213 minutes in 2013/14 compared to 416 last season).
At the beginning of December, Carlo Ancelotti declared Morata's immediate future was definitely Bernabeu based, in accordance with the BBC:
Morata stays. He is happy. If he doesn't feel comfortable at the end of the season we will think about loaning him.
Furthermore, the youngster backed up the notion that his only club for the foreseeable future would be Real.
I feel the boss trusts me, so do the coaches. I want to be here for a long time. The manager has played me in a lot of difficult matches and I am very happy. I have to repay his trust in me.
In contrast to life at the Bernabeu, Morata has continued to shine for the Spanish U21, scoring eight goals in six competitive appearances—a goal every 61 minutes.
The main issue is that his direct competitor, Karim Benzema, is in good form. The Frenchman, also subject to transfer speculation, has scored six and assisted three goals in Los Blancos' last seven La Liga games; so put simply, Morata must bide his time.
That said, recent developments have pushed him further down the Bernabeu pecking order, as fellow youngster Jese has seen consistent action off the bench. This culminated in the 20-year-old grabbing the headlines following his winner in the 3-2 victory over Valencia at the Mestalla.
The festive midseason break is likely to be a period of reflection for Morata. With the January transfer window close by, it is likely agents have been touting a few options since he is not short of admirers both at home and abroad.
Having scored goals aplenty for the U21s, Morata's ambition could be to represent his country at this coming summer's World Cup in Brazil. Given the amount of talent at La Roja's disposal, such as Alvaro Negredo, David Villa and Diego Costa (the latter recently caused an uproar when switching his allegiance from his country of birth to his adopted new home), Morata would find it tough to find game time.
If Morata were to join either the Gunners or Spurs, he would not be guaranteed to gain any more game time than at present. Also, given his brief involvement in this season's Champions League, he would be cup-tied in European competitions with any other clubs.
Therefore, at this delicate stage Morata's career, he would surely benefit from remaining at the Bernabeu, continuing to learn his trade under the excellent tutelage of Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale et al.