Alvaro Morata says critics 'are already killing me' after Chelsea move
Alvaro Morata has told Marca that he has "the personality" to live up to being Chelsea's club-record signing and answer the critics who he says "are already killing me" by scoring "more than 20 goals."
Chelsea lost 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley, with Morata replacing Michy Batshuayi in the 74th minute and failing to make a significant impact before missing his spot kick in the shootout.
It was an inauspicious start for a striker the Premier League champions paid an initial fee of £58 million to acquire from Real Madrid this summer, but Morata is adamant that it will not deter him.
"I admit it's a very important amount but I have the personality to play with calmness and continue my path," the 24-year-old said. "I have only played two preseason games, 15 official minutes and a missed penalty. They [the critics] are already killing me so I know what awaits me.
"It's the price you have to pay for such a big transfer. It's something that motivates me and makes me work harder every day, to be an extra hour each day in the training ground. I know that double the people are watching me now."
The move also gives Morata a long-awaited chance to work with Antonio Conte, the coach who brought him to Juventus before resigning in the summer of 2014, and the striker has set himself a target of 20 goals in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
"Now I have to adapt to the new team, to an Italian coach who is very tactical, there are many changes," he added. "But now I have adapted and I'm looking forward to playing. I hope that is reflected on the pitch.
"I have to adapt to the team system, which is like an Italian one because of the coach. I need to understand Conte well, he demands the opposite to what my past coaches asked of me. I will play in different positions, with diverse tactical plays.
"I've understood those changes already and from now on, everything should be easier. I don't think I have to adapt to the Premier League but rather to my new coach. Antonio is not only asking me to make the usual moves of a striker.
"I hope I can score more than 20 goals. That is my job. But I'm not obsessed in that sense as I would change it for any collective title.
"During my time at Juve I didn't score more than 20 goals a year but I won every title except the Champions League. I've scored 15 or 16 goals and I've lifted titles and other strikers have scored 35 and haven't won anything."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.