Gianfranco Zola Suggests Chelsea Should Target Andrea Belotti over Alvaro Morata

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 11, 2017

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 28:  Andrea Belotti of FC Torino celebrates under FC Turin's fans at the end of Serie A match between FC Torino and US Sassuolo at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on May 28, 2017 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Former Chelsea superstar Gianfranco Zola has urged the west London club to sign Torino striker Andrea Belotti instead of Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata this summer. 

The Blues recently lost out to Manchester United in the race for Everton forward Romelu Lukaku, and Zola told TalkSport's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast that Belotti is the alternative they should be chasing:

"To be honest, I was thinking Chelsea should go for Andrea Belotti in Italy. I thought that considering the type of qualities Costa has, that Belotti was the perfect fit.

"Morata is a little bit different, he's more of a finesse player. He hasn't got the presence of a player like Costa in the box. He’s a different player, he brings other qualities.

“Costa was very influential last season, he's a type of player who fits with the style of football at Chelsea, and that [finding a like-for-like replacement] will be the key for Chelsea."

Now might be a good time for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to raise interest in the forward, too, after Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol provided an update on Belotti's current status and supposed cost:

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It's difficult to argue against Zola's assessment that Belotti makes more sense as a Diego Costa replacement in terms of style, particularly as the Blues have come to rely so heavily on their wings under Conte.

What's more, it seems Belotti would be a like-for-like replacement for Costa in more ways than one, with Squawka recently noting the Italy international's disciplinary record as a potential area for improvement:

But Real's Morata could be a worthy investment of his own and has repeatedly seen his route blocked—both at Real Madrid and former club Juventus—only by other elite forwards, mainly boasting more experience than him.

The Spain international could shine if given his opportunity as a first-team starter, but Belotti's breakout campaign leading the line for Torino in 2016-17 means he may be the more readied candidate.

In any case, Costa no longer appears to have any route back into Stamford Bridge, per Sky Sports News presenter Jim White:

BBC Sport's Richard Conway reported on Monday that the Brazil-born attacker had been given extra time off in pre-season, all this occurring after Conte informed the player via text that he would be leaving 

It's a welcome conundrum to have in whether a club should move for Belotti, 23, or Morata, 24, but Zola has lobbied a reasonable argument for his former employers to trust in one of Serie A's hottest emerging talents.