Back when Juventus first signed Alvaro Morata in the summer of 2014, the buy back option in the deal might have been pushed to the back of some fan’s minds if only for the peace of mind. It was seen by some, including myself, as something that could probably be worked around and in any case shouldn’t be worried until later in the future.
Morata’s potential, however, meant that such an option instead should have been seen as having an air of inevitability. The increased playing time he started receiving while pushing Fernando Llorente out the door led to goals and assists. The fact that those goals and assists often came in notable games such as last year’s strikes vs Dortmund, Real Madrid, and Barcelona, or this year’s wonder run vs Bayern to set up Cuadrado’s seemingly tie sealing goal, meant that they were seen all over the world.
Predictably, Real Madrid bought him back this summer. It’s unclear exactly what they’ll do with him, whether they'll sell him for more money to another team (or even back to Juventus according to some reports), or have him compete with Benzema for a starting role. What is clear is that Alvaro Morata is no longer a Juventus player, and that has some people worried. What should be clear, however, is that this worry is unfounded. The club shouldn’t try to buy him back, and the fans shouldn’t want the club to do it either. Despite his flashes of brilliance, and overall laudable stint with the Bianconeri, Morata’s production can be overestimated and the possible effects of his absence overhyped.
Had this happened last season, concern might have been more justified, given Juve’s two starting strikers were veterans nearing (or at) 30. However, now Juve possess in Paulo Dybala one of the best young strikers in Europe, and one would hope that Morata’s sale means he’s staying put. In Mario Mandzukic they have a player with tons of experience in Europe, and who will likely improve in his second season in Serie A. And coming off the bench, they have Simone Zaza, who scored 5 goals to Morata’s 7 in Serie A in only 19 appearances to Morata’s 34.
Now, I don’t want to completely shorthand Morata. He did chip in 7 assists in Serie A which was good for 3rd best on the team. His knack for showing up in big games is also something Juve fans will notice in his absence if others don’t start showing up in the same way. But to the extent that Juventus need to "replace" Morata, we can hope that the 30 million Juventus just got for him will be put towards securing someone like Domenico Berardi which would more than suffice. We can also hope that Dybala, Mandzukic, and even Zaza stay for next season.
Should that trio stay and another attacker be brought in, then not only will Juve not need Morata, but they’ll actually be better off without him. A player like Berardi would come with at least as much talent and upside, if not more, as well as offer greater tactical flexibility to Allegri. The fact that he’s Italian doesn’t hurt either, nor does the lack of a seemingly meaningless buyback clause. Rest easy Juventus fans, your attack is in good hands.