Simeone hopeful Morata is back on the goal trail for Atletico

This season has been a case of feast or famine for Alvaro Morata and Diego Simeone hopes another hot streak follows his goal versus Osasuna.

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has received praise from his manager Diego Simeone.   -  Getty Images

Diego Simeone believes there are few strikers in football with the ability of Atletico Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata. Spain international Morata found the breakthrough in Saturday's 2-0 win over Osasuna – Atleti's first victory in four La Liga outings that moved it back up to fourth in the table.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Juventus forward scored in seven consecutive games for club and country as October became November but ended a six-game drought when he powered Kieran Trippier's free-kick past inspired Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

Simeone has been linked to making attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window, with Timo Werner, Edinson Cavani and Olivier Giroud all touted as possible Atletico targets, but he offered a ringing endorsement of his current number nine.

 

"Hopefully he'll return to the way he was before the [international] break," he told a post-match news conference. "He was scoring in almost every game. There aren't many people like that in football and we want to make the most of him."

Manuel Sanchez made his Atletico debut at left-back and Simeone felt the 19-year-old's impressive showing was fitting as it came on the evening long-serving defender Juanfran bade farewell to the club's faithful before kick-off.

"I loved him," he said. "It's not easy. He's young, growing and has been working a lot with us. He has to keep growing and this was an important moment for his career. Today, Juanfran said goodbye and another debuted. Someone new was born."

- Morata: Atletico Madrid is growing as a team and results will come -

Morata believes Atletico is moving in the right direction after it returned to winning ways in La Liga with a triumph over Osasuna. Visiting goalkeeper Herrera turned in a stunning display that threatened to make it a fourth straight top-flight game without taking three points for Diego Simeone's men.

However, Morata powered home a 67th-minute Kieran Trippier free-kick – ending a six-game goal drought for club and country – before Saul Niguez made the points safe.

READ | Morata and Saul strikes help Atletico down Osasuna 2-0

"It's our last game of the year here. It was important to win it," Morata said on the Wanda Metropolitano pitch afterwards, before talking up Atleti's recent performance.

"We had a lot of chances - not just me, the whole team. I think we're growing as a team. We came out well against Barcelona and Juventus and Villarreal and we've got to continue that way. We're playing well. Every team needs to win. We're in a good dynamic, we’ve got a lot of desire and, as I say, we're growing as a team. The results will come."

As Diego Costa remains on the sidelines with a neck injury, Atletico has been linked to a host of strikers ahead of the January transfer window. Even if the likes of Cavani, Werner and Giroud are under consideration, Morata insists that is none of his concern.

"No, I don't care," he replied. "We're a great team and great dressing room and that's the important thing."

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