Dennis Wise believes fellow Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola could be key to helping Alvaro Morata rediscover his goalscoring touch.
Morata has only scored three goals in 2018, and has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge following his omission from Spain’s squad for the World Cup due to his lacklustre form.
But the 25-year-old, for whom Chelsea paid Real Madrid £58 million ($75m) a year ago, is expected to lead the line for Maurizio Sarri’s new-look Blues side despite falling short of expectations so far.
And Wise believes that Sarri’s new assistant Zola could be the one to bring the best out of him.
“I think if we can get Morata scoring goals, I think that is very important,” the former Chelsea captain told Goal. “Obviously last season he got a few injuries and not enough goals but I think he has a lot of quality.
“Once he builds his confidence and scores, you would have a real striker there. I think it has taken him a little bit of time to get used to the Premier League. Last season wasn’t his most outstanding season.
“So I expect a bit more from him. I think he can learn from Gianfranco. I think it will be great and Franco will take him under his wing to help us. If he can get enough goals, then we would start to compete.
“It is important that others share the load as well. [Olivier] Giroud is still there, they are people who can add to that tally and get more goals. I think it is important that they score as well, I think that is something that is a little bit lacking.”
A poor 2017-18 campaign saw Chelsea finish outside the top four for the second time in three seasons and the misfiring Morata found himself as something of a scapegoat.
Wise thinks that the current coaching staff will offer their full backing to the beleaguered forward, however, and that such support will help him rediscover his finest form.
“I don’t think Maurizio will, Franco will or the players will [turn their back on Morata],” the 51-year-old added. “I think they will get behind him, so he is someone who you probably need to help a bit. You can see that he really wants to do well.
“Sometimes it doesn’t go as well as you want in your first season, so therefore you are looking for a little bit of help from personnel. There was obviously a lot of change around the club last season. There was a period of six months where there was a lot of upheaval, I would say, now it is all changed.
“I think everyone is looking forward in the season in a positive manner. What we want from Morata is an early goal and to hit the ground running and to make an impact. If he can do that, it can help the team.”