Alvaro Morata returns to Juventus on an initial 12-month loan deal from Atletico Madrid. The Nomadic striker has headed back to Turin for a second spell with the Serie A champions, where he spent two seasons between 2014 and 2016, including scoring in the Champions League final loss to Barcelona in Berlin in 2015.
While there is no definitive term for how long a player should possibly stay or use at a club, or how many clubs a player should turn out for before being term a nomad is probably why we may not get to see players stay at a club for a long time.
However, nomadic players who seemingly make a career out of moving from one club to another are often referred to as mercenaries. Players who are not loyal to the course of the club usually have the tendency to crave for a new adventure when they are unsettled at their current club.
Although we’ve seen legends of the game who remain fervently loyal to their club throughout their playing careers ‘One Club Man‘, which includes Paolo Maldini (Milan), Francesco Totti (Roma), Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes (Manchester United), and Tony Adams(Arsenal).
However, in recent times, it could be difficult for a player to stay ten or fifteen years at a club, although five or six years is practically possible for a player before thinking of a change or moving as the case may be.
Alvaro Morata: The new Journeyman
Juventus completed the loan signing of Alvaro Morata from Atletico Madrid for €10m for the initial loan and a purchase option of €45m, making his return to Turin where he played between 2014 and 2016 as the teammate of newly appointed Juventus manager Pirlo.
It could be some level of permanent dissatisfaction that has led Morata moving once again to familiar terrain, to pitch his tent with a club he once donned their jersey when he left Real Madrid in 2014.
And since Morata left Madrid, he has played for Juventus, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, and now Juventus again.
The Spaniard ability is undoubted and was obviously duly noted by some of the most respected and successful managers he has played for, likewise the club he turned out for. It’s no doubt that Morata is a clever player, with a decent technique and has an eye for goals on his day.
A whole lot of players have changed club because they feel their current club don’t really appreciate them, or perhaps they want regular playing time, while some changed club just to secure the bag.
However, in Morata’s case, he wouldn’t have thought of complaining of any, because he’s always well celebrated at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
The former Real Madrid forward is the kind of player that has enjoyed a lot of love from his colleagues in the dressing room with all of the clubs he wore their shirt. Morata seems to be a player that has some kind of ‘Permanent Dissatisfaction‘ someone who feels he hasn’t quite achieved his dreams.
Perhaps that could have been the reason why he jumped at the opportunity of playing for the ‘Old Lady’ again.
As the new Seria A season enters its full gear, hopefully, Morata can find what he’s looking for at Juventus, even rumors have it that he’s been driven to take this next step to Italy out of love.
According to a Spanish sport medium Marca:
“Morata reasons to take this next step is about his love for Pizza and Chips at Lampara and the confidence he has in Andrea Pirlo, being his old teammate, might work miracle for his career”.
According to the report, it’s was said that Pirlo personally requested the signing of Morata, while his difficult relationship with ‘EL Cholo’ reportedly has also played a part in his willingness to leave Atletico Madrid for Juventus.
By joining the Old Lady, the Spaniard has become the only player in history to leave both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid twice.
Having spent his youthful age at Atletico Madrid, he left for Getafe at the age of 14, following his low chances of getting to play regularly and also felt not appreciated by Los Rojiblancos.
Even the academy Director at the time ‘Jose Maria Amorrortu‘ buttressed the fact that he left based on his own decision that he wanted more opportunities.
Morata has never stayed in any club’s first team for more than two years.
With that let’s take a look at some of the situations or circumstances that are attached to every of his move, that has turned him to a nomadic player.
- Real Madrid To Juventus
Morata prolific form at Getafe was what caught Madrid fancy, which made the Spanish giant snapped him up.
Los Blancos brought him down to the Santiago Bernabeu to play with the U18 team, while in the U18 team he showed a lot of promises and talent which gave him the leverage to be promoted to the first team and was given his debut by former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho in 2012.
Following the exit of Mourinho, there came the era of Carlo Ancelotti. Under the Italian manager, the Spaniard was largely a reserve player and couldn’t get enough playing time which led to his exit to Turin in 2014, where he arguably had his best time and also going on to play in the Champions League final.
Ahead of the 2016-17 season, Real Madrid brought back Morata having exercised their buy-back option on his contract. During that season under the supervision of Zidane, he hit double-figure (20 goals) in over 43 appearances, although he always comes in as a substitute.
- Real Madrid To Chelsea
Having scored a double-digit goal in that season, Morata perhaps feels he could do better if given a starting role at a different club. He moved to Chelsea in 2017 and when he was leaving he said :
“I’m leaving in search of first-team football “, “I can’t see myself coming back for a third time to Real Madrid “.
- Chelsea To Atletico Madrid
After a season and a half with the London side, Morata moved to Atletico Madrid on loan in 2019 before finally joining Los Rojiblancos permanently for €65m.
Despite joining Diego Simeone led side permanently, Morata wasn’t satisfied with the bit-part role his playing under El Cholo, which led to him leaving Atletico Madrid for the second time just like he did with Real Madrid twice.
The Spaniard settled quite well in the squad, earning the trust and the forgiveness of the fans for his past as a Madrid player, having won the fans to his side, he hit double-figure in the 2019-20 season with 16 goals and 4 assists.
However, he lost his place to Diego Costa after the restart of the league following the pandemic break, a new situation that reportedly triggered his move to Juventus.
- Atletico To Juventus
Morata’s time at Juventus was the best time of his career, starting regularly built his confidence in playing well, as well as winning titles during his time with the Old Lady.
Joining Juventus, he formed a strong partnership with former Juventus forward Carlos Tevez, scoring 15 goals with 7 seven assists to his name. He won the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and narrowly missed out on the Champions League against Barcelona, but showed to his parent club Real Madrid how prolific he could be against them in the semi-final.
Following his exit from Juventus, Morata said “I never should have left Juventus, I came back because of the contractual agreements that had to be respected, but the disappointment was enormous, I had to start again”.
With these statements, it’s a testament to the fact that he was quite happy at Juventus, and going back there now for the second time should rekindle his love for the club, and perhaps help him settle his permanent dissatisfaction.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
READ ALSO: 10 Richest Club Owners In World Football
- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)