Alvaro Morata has travelled to the United States with Mourinho and his men for their pre-season tour and he's played a big part in Madrid's preparations for the defence of their La Liga title. Plenty of minutes on the pitch, some good performances and a place on the scoresheet too.
Morata has been a name most Madridistas have been extremely keen to see more of and they're set to get their wish next season.
Mourinho's assistant, Aitor Karanka, has pretty much rubber-stamped Morata's role within Madrid's first team this season, saying: "Morata has progressed well. He's earned it and he'll be part of the squad. It's easy to see that it's time for him to play with the first team. He has some real talent."
It's seemingly been a long time coming. Born in Madrid, the talented young forward has progressed through the youth ranks at three clubs in the capital - Atletico Madrid, Getafe and now Los Blancos. Sports paper columns have been dedicated to whether the player is an Atleti supporter or Blanco over the summer, but then again these column inches do need to be filled over the quieter summer months. One thing's for certain, Morata is definitely a Blanco this year.
The 19-year-old joined Madrid in 2008 and his goalscoring record for Castilla, Madrid's reserve side, has been enough to whet the appetite of Madridistas and club coaches. One in every two games, 32 goals in 65 appearances. Enough to help Castilla back up the Segunda Division.
Mourinho noted his impressive abilities when he first arrived at the club, but insisted his development would be better served with Castilla in the short term. Not a problem. Morata went back to Castilla, continued to perform well and score goals and eventually did enough to warrant a brace of first-team appearances, this time to whet the appetite of the player himself.
Now it seems his time has come. A first team regular he may not be this coming season, but Madridistas can expect to see a lot more of the Madrid-born talent. Expect more in the Copa del Rey, substitute appearances in La Liga and possibly even a few starts thrown in there, too.
And it's the right time to throw him in. With Gonzalo Higuain pledging his immediate future to Madrid, Mourinho has no desires to freshen up his attack. A sublime partnership between Higuain and Karim Benzema played a huge role in Madrid's success last season. To add to that with a young player from within, a player who won't yet threaten to break-up the partnership, but complement it, a player who knows Madrid's attacking tactics, and players.
Morata is adaptable in slotting into Mourinho's methods, and at 19 he's still capable of being sculpted into a position that suits him best. Playing as an out-and-out forward, out wide, or just off the front man, the possibilities are appealing in a squad that likes to be versatile.
Don't expect miracles in his first campaign as a full first-team player, expect progression and expect excitement. In an era when Barcelona's La Masia is praised on a daily basis, and rightly so, it's nice to see a youngster come through the ranks (or at least some ranks...) at the Bernabeu and make it into the first-team squad. With Jese Rodriguez also waiting in the wings, it's exciting times for Madridistas keen to see 'their own' pull on the all white.
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