Antonio Conte could forget signing 6ft 7in Peter Crouch if only Alvaro Morata would grow up.
The Chelsea manager was as tight-lipped as ever about transfers in his press conference but did let slip his frustration at the “stupid” lapse on Wednesday night that has left him without his star striker for tomorrow’s trip to Brighton.
Links with Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch suggest he is looking for a robust presence as a Plan B for the second half of the season.
But if 6ft 3in Morata had not gone down quite so easily under challenge from Norwich’s Timm Klose – and then moaned about it – perhaps Conte would not appear quite so desperate.
The booking for simulation was unnecessary in the eyes of Conte but the fact it was followed by the second for dissent was inexcusable.
Subsequently, he is in no mood to mince his words when telling the former Real Madrid bench-warmer to man up now he has been brought to the Premier League as his main striker
“If the referee doesn’t want to give the penalty, in this situation it’s still not right to book him,” he said. “But, at the same time, you must learn to control yourself. The second yellow card was for dissent.
“I agree with the player for the first yellow card, but I don’t agree with the player for the second yellow card. He has to check himself in future.
“For Alvaro, this is the first season that he’s been having a full season. Maybe, for him, this is the first time to face this type of problems.
“But, he has to overcome this problem because this is a stupid problem. You have to work for the team and not lose confidence.
“But this is the first time Morata has faced this situation. Before, if you stay on the bench, you don’t have this type of pressure. So now he has to learn to face this type of situation, move forward and go on. Everyone in Chelsea trusts him.”
“The coach trusts him, the team-mates trust him, the clubs trust him, the fans trust him. I don’t see a problem.”