Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri ‘still waiting for the best Morata

‘NICE, France — Maurizio Sarri said he is still waiting to see the best version of Alvaro Morata at Chelsea, but he praised the Spaniard’s performance in Saturday’s penalty shootout friendly victory over Inter Milan.
Cesar Azpilicueta netted the winning spot kick as Chelsea triumphed 5-4 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw in their International Champions Cup opener at the Allianz Riviera, with owner Roman Abramovich in attendance.
Pedro Rodriguez had earlier opened the scoring for Sarri’s men on his 31st birthday after good work from Morata, who provided an impressive focal point up front before being replaced by Tammy Abraham in the 64th minute.
Morata’s future has been clouded by uncertainty all summer after a disappointing first season in English football saw him score just three times in the final five months of the campaign, and Chelsea have been linked with signing Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain to replace him.
Speaking after the match, however, Sarri insisted that Morata is in his plans.
“I’m still waiting for the best Morata,” he said. “In the first match [against Perth Glory] Morata did not play very well, in Australia.
“But tonight, especially in the first 30 minutes, he improved a lot. I am satisfied and I am very confident in him for the future.”
Sarri also revealed that he had been encouraged by Chelsea’s performance, but wants them to speed up their possession game even further as they build towards the start of the new Premier League season in a fortnight’s time.
“So far, I am satisfied,” he added. “I am of course waiting for the other players from the World Cup but these players gave me total availability. So now I am satisfied. I’ve seen in the match something that we tried during the sessions. So far, so good.
“I like the sound: ‘Sarri-ball, Sarri-ball, Sarri-ball’. But I don’t know the meaning, really. Because we move the ball very quickly? This evening we moved the ball well, but I think not at the right speed.
“You have to move the ball at a great speed on the floor, otherwise we risk playing for 90 minutes with 75 percent of possession but without scoring. So we have to improve on this.”
Academy prospects Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi were given another opportunity to impress from the start and showed promising flashes, with the latter afforded 82 minutes on the pitch.
“I don’t know if they will play this season in the Premier League,” he said of Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi. “But I know that these names will be very famous in the next years.”