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Álvaro Morata is making the starting lineup choice an easy one for Max Allegri

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

If you have a somewhat decent memory of what goes on around here, then you probably remember I have been championing for Álvaro Morata to play consistent minutes since early December. It probably dates back further than that, but the aforementioned late-2014 post was the official declaration, if you will. I guess it was the "OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL" declaration to steal something else from this here corner of the internet.

Things haven't exactly been textbook for Morata since he became a Juventus player. He's had to be patient in his quest for regular playing time. People wanted to see the big-money summer signing, the largest transfer fee forked out for one single entity in the Andrea Agnelli-Beppe Marotta era. Instead, we were all pretty much forced to see him come off the bench every single week in the first half of the season outside of a couple rare starts.

Fear not, though, people. It has taken until the early parts of 2015, but Morata has finally become a regular starter. And, even better, he's delivering.

Here's something that could be considered just as important of a stat as the one above: Morata has started four of Juventus' last six games. And not just started them, but played well in just about every one of them. The glimpses we saw of Morata's talent when he came off the bench to replace Fernando Llorente for the first four or five months months are now becoming a regular thing. No, five- or 10-minute sub appearances. In those last four starts, Morata has played 90 minutes every single time.

After how little he played to begin the season, I like being able to type that last sentence.

Morata is making Max Allegri's decision to (finally) go from one Spanish striker to another look pretty good right about now. Or, better yet, Morata's playing so well right now he's forcing Max Allegri to put him in the starting lineup.

With the way Llorente has struggled to find any kind of form this season, we've been waiting for this time to come. Allegri, understandably so, stood by Llorente as he tried to work his way back into any kind of form that resembled his great first season with Juventus a year ago. That meant Morata was exclusively Llorente's understudy, making plenty of appearances but not getting nearly the amount of minutes he probably deserved at that point in time.

Bench player no more.

The young Spaniard is getting his chance and taking advantage of it.

Consider this: Morata is just a few months separated from his 22nd birthday. He's had to adjust to a new league, a new system and try to find playing time in a team that has won the last three Serie A titles and is well on its way to a fourth. That's not easy by any means, let alone trying to make the adjustment when you're getting 20 or 30 minutes a week.

But Morata doesn't have to worry about that now.

You look at the way Morata is playing compared to Llorente and it's not even close. I say this as somebody who has pretty much loved Llorente from Day 1, too. It's taken Morata just about 500 fewer minutes to score more goals (5 in 692 minutes) to overtake how many Llorente has recorded (4 in 1,196 minutes) this season. Morata also has three assists to Llorente's one, and has proved to be quite the compliment to Carlos Tévez, also known as Serie A's top scorer this season.

I don't know about you, but that looks a whole lot like Carlos Tévez to me. But, of course, it isn't.

And that's why Morata is becoming more and more valuable to this team as the weeks are going by. It's more than just the goals and the endless energy. It's the entire package that Morata brings to the table. It's why Morata, as long as he's healthy, should be playing more often than not going forward.

As a striker, I'd say that's a pretty good mentality to have. I mean, that's what he gets paid to do, right?

And with the way he's playing these days, there should more post-game quotes about scoring goals. That's something all of us should give our stamp of approval toward.