Arsenal have been strongly linked with Juventus Alvaro Morata, but is he the striker theyre looking for? The clock was ticking towards a penalty shoot-out when Massimiliano Allegri signalled to the hunched figure sitting restlessly on the Juventus bench. Detroit Pistons Shirts . Twelve minutes remained to break AC Milans resistance in a dour Coppa Italia final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. In the end, Alvaro Morata only needed two.One hundred and twenty-two seconds after jogging onto the pitch in place of midfielder Hernanes, Morata swept Juan Cuadrados cross into the net with his first touch. The goal clinched an historic second consecutive domestic double for Juventus, and it further enhanced the Spaniards reputation as a big-game specialist. Since joining the Old Lady last season, Morata has scored in both legs of a Champions League semi-final against boyhood club Real Madrid. He has scored in a Champions League final against Barcelona. He has scored decisive goals against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Inter Milan. And he has now scored the winner in a Coppa Italia final. Morata tired of speculation Alvaro Morata admits he is tired of speculation linking him with a return to Real Madrid. It is likely to be his last contribution for Juventus. Real Madrid have the option to activate a buy-back clause to take the striker back to the Bernabeu this summer, but the strongest interest appears to have come from Arsenal. This week the 23-year-old revealed he has received tempting offers from England, and newspaper reports put him at the top of Arsene Wengers wishlist. Watch Alvaro Moratas winning goal in the Coppa Italia final So is he the answer to Arsenals striker conundrum? Morata seems to think so. I think my characteristics mean the Premier League would be a great destination, he told Spanish newspaper AS after his call-up for the Euros. His pace and technical skill are certainly well-suited to Arsenal, and his clinical winner at the Stadio Olimpico last Saturday was a timely reminder of his finishing ability - as was his double for Spain against South Korea on Wednesday.But perhaps his next comment was more revealing. With what I have learned in Italy, if I have the chance to learn something more in England I think it would make me a more complete player, he said. By his own admission, Morata is still learning. His big-game heroics have raised his profile and sent his price-tag north of £30m, but they mask modest experience and an unremarkable overall scoring record. Morata tempted by PL Arsenal target Alvaro Morata admits he is tempted by a move to the Premier League. Since his debut in 2010, Morata has made just 35 La Liga and Serie A starts with Real Madrid and Juventus, and he has never reached double figures for goals in a single league campaign. Last year he found himself behind Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in Allegris pecking order. This year it was Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.Moratas total of 12 goals in 47 appearances in 2015/16 came at a rate of one every 196 minutes. Its a long way short of the elite, and while the much-maligned Olivier Giroud might not be the striker to take Arsenal to the next level, he did at least average a goal every 140 minutes. Morata v Giroud 2015/16 Player Mins played Goals Mins per goal Alvaro Morata 2348 12 196 Olivier Giroud 3360 24 140 It highlights the scale of what is expected at the Emirates Stadium. No Arsenal striker has hit over 20 Premier League goals since Robin van Persie in 2011/12, and Wenger has made pointed references to the issue in recent months. We dont have anybody with 20 goals in the league, so that is a handicap, he told Sky Sports in April.It raises questions of Moratas suitability. His potential is considerable and his knack for delivering as an impact player in big games is undoubtedly appealing, but Arsenal have more pressing requirements. The Gunners created more clear-cut chances (88) than any other Premier League side over the course of the season, but their profligacy cost them in games against Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Norwich and West Brom to name a few. Morata will feature for Vicente del Bosques Spain at Euro 2016 Its not just a big-game specialist they need, its a consistent goalscorer. Its less than two months since Wenger pinpointed poor results against the Premier Leagues so-called smaller sides as the reason Arsenal fell short of the title, but Morata would need to drastically increase his output to meet the level the Gunners require.Wenger has always maintained that the pool of ready-made strikers who could instantly improve Arsenal is a shallow one, and he might also point to his proud record for developing striking talent. Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie have blossomed under his guidance, so why shouldnt Morata be next?It is a reasonable argument, but the real question is whether Arsenal can afford another gamble. Patience is wearing thin at the Emirates Stadium, and supporters have little appetite for another project as Wenger enters the final year of his contract. Arsenal are operating in the here and now. The hero of the Coppa Italia would meet very different expectations in north London. Also See: Xhaka exit a huge blow Deschamps: Giroud boos unfair Jason Maxiell Jersey . Indeed, must be among the greatest challenges in all of sports. The pressure he applies, from set to set, game to game, point to point, shot to shot. Markieff Morris Jersey . The Red Wings hadnt played the night before. The Boston Bruins had. A month from now, or two months from now, it doesnt matter. But right now it does matter, when you start and you play back to back, its wear and tear on you for sure, Babcock said.NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a multiyear deal with offensive tackle Michael Oher, a former first-round draft pick who spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Titans general manager Ruston Webster called Oher "a big, strong, durable player" in a statement announcing the move Friday. Ohers contract reportedly is a four-year deal worth $20 million with $9.5 million guaranteed. Oher tweeted that hes "extremely happy and excited to be a Titan (and) cant wait to do big things!!!" Oher also tweeted, "Wanna thank the Ravens organization and their great fans!" The 27-year-old Oher should fill Tennessees vacancy at right tackle created by the Titans decision to waive David Stewart on Wednesday. Stewart had been Tennessees starting right tackle since 2006. --- NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a multiyear deal with free-agent linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who spent the last six years with the Denver Broncos. After arriving in the NFL in 2008 as an undrafted free agent from Kentucky, Woodyard developed into a six-time team captain for the Broncos. During the 2012 season, Woodyard was the only player in the NFL to have at least 100 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions. In a release announcing the move Friday, Titans general manager Ruston Webster said "Wesley is a player who has experience playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 systems, and in our new scheme he fits as one of the inside linebackers. He is smart and fast." Webster also praised the 27-year-old Woodyards leadership qualities and intangibles. --- Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says hes been released by the Tennessee Titans, who signed Charlie Whitehurst on Thursday to back up Jake Locker. Fitzpatrick told The Associated Press on Friday, "You can say Ive been released, yes." Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Titans last March. He started nine games for the Titans last season and went 217 of 350 for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. In another move Friday, the Titans announced they had agreed to terms with former Denver Broncoos linebacker Wesley Woodyard on a multiyear deal. Khyri Thomas Jersey. The 31-year-old Fitzpatrick has thrown for 16,790 yards, 106 touchdowns and 93 interceptions in 85 career games. Whitehurst, also 31, has gone 84 of 155 for 805 yards passing with four interceptions and three touchdown passes in 13 NFL games. The backup quarterback position is potentially a critical spot for the Titans because injuries have forced starter Jake Locker to miss 14 games over the last two seasons. Although Fitzpatrick and Whitehurst are the same age, Fitzpatrick has more experience. Fitzpatrick has 77 career NFL starts. Whitehurst has only four career starts. But Whitehurst has more familiarity with new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whitehurst spent the last two seasons in San Diego, where Whisenhunt was offensive co-ordinator last year. "He brings a familiarity with the offence we are installing," Whisenhunt said Thursday in a team statement announcing Whitehursts addition. "He will be a great resource for Jake and the entire offence. And as a player, he understands what we want to get done. Working with him over the last year and seeing how he works and his ability gives me confidence that he is the right fit to fill this role." Fitzpatrick joined the Titans last year after making 53 starts in four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He also has played for the St. Louis Rams (2005-06) and Cincinnati Bengals (2007-08). Fitzpatrick started three games with St. Louis in 2005 and made 12 starts with Cincinnati in 2008. Woodyard, who began his NFL career in 2008 as an undrafted free agent from Kentucky, developed into a six-time team captain for the Broncos. During the 2012 season, Woodyard was the only player in the NFL to have at least 100 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions. "Wesley is a player who has experience playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 systems, and in our new scheme he fits as one of the inside linebackers," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said Friday in a team statement announcing the move. "He is smart and fast." Webster also praised the 27-year-old Woodyards leadership qualities and intangibles. ' ' '
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Dec 20, 2019
Allegri signalled to
Allegri signalled to