Alvaro Morata was being written off before he’d even arrived in England for a sizeable £55m in the summer.
The Spaniard had to cope with the knowledge that Romelu Lukaku, who chose Manchester United instead, was Antonio Conte’s number one target to spearhead Chelsea’s attack.
But fast-forward six weeks and six Premier League goals later and Morata’s name is being mentioned in the same breath as the best around.
The 24-year-old’s relative lack of consistent game time during his career so far means he’s still somewhat of an unknown quantity.
That’s what made his sublime hat-trick at Stoke on Saturday all the more illuminating, with Morata displaying traits many felt he didn’t have.
His second goal, picking a loose ball up on the halfway line, racing past Darren Fletcher and then finishing effortlessly from a tight angle was reminiscent of another Spaniard’s first few seasons in England.
Fernando Torres, aside from maybe Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa, adapted to the demands of the Premier League more instantly than any other La Liga import when he joined Liverpool in 2007.
And Morata shouldn’t take comparisons with Torres as negative despite his countryman’s Chelsea nightmare after that ill-fated £50m move in January 2011.
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The Atletico Madrid hero was the archetypal number nine at Liverpool, combining pace, power and ruthless finishing ability which made defenders’ lives a misery.
Morata is much the same, and that second goal at Stoke brought back memories of the way Torres opened his Reds account against Chelsea all those years ago.
In fact, Morata’s hat-trick at the bet365 Stadium was all the more symbolic given it fell almost 10 years to the day that Torres scored his first Liverpool treble at Reading in 2007.
The former Real Madrid man is deceptively quick, ruthless in the air and a master at pulling centre-backs into positions they really don’t want to be.
It’s an unenviable task to replace the monstrous Diego Costa, but Morata has already begun to silence the doubters.
In fact, only Costa can match Morata’s goal involvement (eight, six goals and two assists) after six Premier League games for the Blues.
Morata doesn’t have Costa’s aggression, but instead boasts the same guile and attacking nous of Torres at his peak – which might be an even more exciting prospect.
Defenders should be very, very afraid.