Suffice to say, nobody in their right mind expected Romelu Lukaku to join Manchester United and Alvaro Morata to join Chelsea this summer, not after all the transfer movements which happened in the early stages of the window.
Chelsea were set to re-sign Lukaku having won the race to sign him and United had been locked in negotiations with Real Madrid over Morata for over a month. Deals for the pair were considered inevitable.
Yet, only a few weeks later, and to the surprise of everybody, United swooped and signed Lukaku right from the under the noses of Chelsea:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 10, 2017
Now, Chelsea have made their move to sign an alternative striker and who have they got? Yep, Morata:
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 19, 2017
In a weird set of transfer swapsies, United and Chelsea have effectively signed the striker who was expected to join the other. Jose Mourinho turned away from Morata to re-sign the player he sold in the first place and Antonio Conte, left with Diego Costa who he doesn’t want and no Lukaku, has brought in Morata.
Next season is going to be really interesting to follow both Lukaku and Morata. Which club made the right choice? Which signing will turn out to be better in the Premier League at their new clubs? It’s certainly going to be exciting to watch how both pan out.
On paper, United have the better striker. With 80+ Premier League goals and years of experience under his belt, Lukaku should hit the ground running straight away whereas Morata may take time to settle. That’s what United fans will be telling themselves. On the other hand, Morata was clinical in La Liga last season and has world class pedigree, can he come in and replace Costa straight away?
Football always has its stories and the career paths of Lukaku and Morata will certainly be a side story everybody wants to follow next year. Here’s hoping Morata struggles and Lukaku shines but I get a sneaking suspicion both strikers will have excellent seasons, it’s just a case of who will have the better one.