18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
Talk of Chelsea bringing in a striker just does not go away.
Last summer the Blues were heavily linked with Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata, and were reported to have made unsuccessful bids for the duo.
The two names are being linked once again.
With Lukaku topping the Premier League goalscoring chart, it only seems natural a team higher up the league than Everton may look at the Belgian.
While Morata has found himself behind Karim Benzema in the Real Madrid pecking order, and to add insult to injury, it looks like the Frenchman will be offered a new contract at the Bernabeu.
So it is no surprise to see the pair become Chelsea transfer targets yet again.
READ MORE: How does Romelu Lukaku compare to Everton's best strikers of all time?
Lukaku vs Morata: the stats
If you are looking at a striker, from a fan’s point of view, and that of most people to be fair, what you really want to know is how many goals they have got.
And if you compare Lukaku and Morata this season, there is no doubt to the winner.
As we said earlier, Lukaku is the top scorer in the Premier League with 16 goals, including four great goals in last weekend’s win over Bournemouth.
Morata, on the other hand has only scored six La Liga goals this season – there are 16 players who have scored more than him in the Spanish top flight this season.
But that does not tell the full story.
The Everton man has played a substantially greater amount of football than the Real Madrid forward.
Lukaku has played in 23 league games so far this season, which has worked out at 2006 minutes on the pitch, while Morata has featured in just 14 league games, and only 664 league minutes.
And if you look at the pair’s goalscoring record over 90 minutes, it is the Spaniard who comes out on top.
Per 90 minutes, Morata has scored 0.81 goals, while Lukaku has scored just 0.72.
That is also the case if you look at assists.
The Everton man has four assists in the league, whereas Morata has just two.
But per 90 minutes, Morata looks better statistically, registering 0.27 compared to Lukaku’s 0.18.
If you look at chances created by Lukaku and Morata, the Spaniard edges his rival, albeit only just.
READ MORE: Alvaro Morata and Chelsea Could Be The Perfect Match
He makes 1.49 chances, just above Lukaku’s 1.48 every 90 minutes.
And if you look at the current first choice at Chelsea, Diego Costa, they both outperform him in terms of chances created.
The Brazil-born Spaniard creates 1.3 chances per 90 minutes.
But while Morata may beat Lukaku in terms of shots, assists and chances created per 90 minutes, the Everton forward is more accurate with his shots, with 64 per cent of his efforts hitting the target, compared to 63 per cent of Morata’s.
And both of those figures are higher than Costa – whose shot accuracy is 60 per cent.
Conte likes his teams to pass the ball around, and be quick on the counter, and it will be crucial for whoever comes in to be able to pick a key pass at the right time.
And Morata has outperformed Lukaku in the league this season in terms of pass completion – 75 per cent to 65 per cent.
Morata’s figure is similar to Costa’s 74 per cent.
If you look at duels won, it is Morata yet again who comes out on top.
The Spaniard wins more than half of his duels (55.34 per cent), while Lukaku has won just 40.72 per cent of his.
And in terms of duels, the Real Madrid man comes out on top compared to Lukaku again.
He wins more than half – 55.34 per cent – of his duels, while the Everton striker is at 40.72 per cent so far this season.
While you would associate Lukaku with being the better of the two in the air, Morata also wins a whopping 63.16 per cent of his aerial duels, while Lukaku has won just 40.72 per cent of his.
But it’s headed goals you really associate Lukaku with and he has scored a much higher percentage of his league goals with his head this year – four of his sixteen, compared to one of Morata’s six.
Spearheading the 3-4-3
Chelsea would not bring in Lukaku or Morata on the cheap, but the Blues do of course have money in the bank after the Oscar sale.
That would surely mean they would be unlikely to come as a backup.
It is also unlikely either of the duo would want to play second fiddle to someone else at Stamford Bridge.
Morata would leave Real Madrid because he is currently second choice behind Benzema, and it would be pointless him moving to Chelsea to not play.
Lukaku, meanwhile, left Stamford Bridge the first time round in order to get first-team football, so a move back to Chelsea to sit on the bench would not make sense.
With Costa’s future uncertain at Chelsea after his dalliance with China, you would expect one of them to come in and spearhead Conte’s 3-4-3.
And while they may not have played in a 3-4-3 before, they are both comfortable with playing the central role in a front three, and that is surely where they would play.
READ MORE: HOW ANTONIO CONTE HAS TACTICALLY EVOLVED CHELSEA
A tactical surprise?
But perhaps, Conte has something else up his sleeve.
He may even think of bringing in both of them and reviving the 4-2-4 he spoke about in pre-season.
The two of them have could complement each other well, and with two real goalscoring strikers, the Blues would offer something that not many other teams in the Premier League do at the moment.
Conte revolutionised the Premier League’s thoughts on playing three at the back and wing-backs – just remember how Louis van Gaal was ridiculed for playing with three centre-backs.
And he could bring it full circle and reignite the Premier League’s love affair with two forwards, rather than the one up front most teams play with.
That could even mean Costa would not leave and Chelsea would then have four top quality strikers – Costa, Morata, Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi – for two positions.
And that could reignite Batshuayi’s Stamford Bridge career as well.