Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata admits he made a big mistake in playing through pain this season after his recent injury setbacks for the Blues.
The Spain international has not had a particularly happy first season at Stamford Bridge, having failed to build on a promising start and not looking quite in the same league as his centre-forward predecessor Diego Costa.
Chelsea fans will have expected more from their big-name summer signing, but the player has now attempted to explain how things have gone wrong for him.
Morata himself accepts a large portion of the blame, saying it wasn’t the best idea to play while he was struggling with pain as that affected his performances on the pitch.
‘I made a mistake in that respect as I played with pain [earlier this season],’ Morata told Movistar, as quoted by the Metro.
‘I went through a poor spell where I missed important goals but I wasn’t well physically and mentally.’
Morata never had to cope with being regular first choice at previous club Real Madrid, where he earned something of a reputation as being a reliable super-sub, but rarely more than that.
At Stamford Bridge, the 25-year-old has had to immediately become first choice up front for Antonio Conte’s side, and it may be that that has proven a hard role to adjust to.
Morata has 12 goals and five assists in 31 games in all competitions for Chelsea this season – decent return, but perhaps not of the kind of level fans expected when they paid what BBC Sport reported as a club-record £60million fee for him last summer.