Antonio Conte accused of ‘madness’ over Chelsea transfer failing

Garth Crooks is critical of Chelsea's failure to sign a second striker in the summer transfer window

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi Photo: Michy Batshuayi / Instagram

Antonio Conte should have signed a second striker as back-up to Alvaro Morata in the summer transfer window, Garth Crooks has claimed.

The defending Premier League champions signed Morata in a £58m deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.

The 24-year-old has already scored six times in seven appearances in the Premier League this season to hit the ground running in the Premier League.

One of the big concerns surrounding Morata was his lack of game time during his spells at Juventus and Real Madrid before his move to the English capital.

While the Spain international has won numerous silverware at the two European giants, Morata hasn’t completed a 38-game season as an automatic starter.

Chelsea sold Diego Costa to his former club Atletico Madrid on loan with view to a permanent transfer at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Costa’s exit means that Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi is the only replacement for Morata in the event of an injury.

Morata suffered a hamstring strain in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City before the international break to force Conte to start with Batshuayi at Crystal Palace.

And the former Marseille man struggled to impress in a 2-1 loss to the Premier League’s basement club Palace.

Former Spurs forward Crooks was critical of Conte’s decision to sign only Morata up front in the summer.

“I find it inconceivable that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte finds himself with only one player to replace injured forward Alvaro Morata,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Batshuayi is simply not ready to lead the line for a team like Chelsea, while Spurs have a man sitting on their bench – Fernando Llorente – who might. Madness.”

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