Alvaro Morata has already made a good start to his Chelsea career in the Premier League but playing in the Champions League will suit him even better.

I watched him from afar when he was at Real Madrid and Juventus and I think he is the complete striker.

Technically Alvaro is fantastic, as is his movement. He will be in his element on this stage. The Champions League is the top competition in the world. I felt it when I played, your standards had to step up.

With players of Morata’s ability, performing in the Champions League is what it’s all about. It’s imperative. 

In Pictures | Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata

I’m not saying his Chelsea career will be solely judged on the Champions League but it will play a part in what legacy he builds at Stamford Bridge.

At the highest level you need your striker scoring goals. 

Surprisingly Diego Costa scored only twice in this tournament for Chelsea, although he did get eight goals for Atletico Madrid during their run to the final in 2013-14.

Everyone remembers all the special things Didier Drogba did for Chelsea in the Champions League while he was at the club. When I talk about legacy, Didier is the perfect example. 

There will be tough games, especially once you get through the group. 

When you go away from home or fighting for a result, you need your forward to make the difference and win the game.

Alvaro has already proven a few people here wrong who were questioning whether he could cope with the combative game in this country. 

At Leicester he went up against two of the most physical centre-halves in the League and came out with a goal and good performance. I think he can handle anything. Plus we haven’t seen him really link up with Eden Hazard yet. Great strikers feed off great players, so he will definitely get the chances he craves – it will be about sticking them away. I was happy when Chelsea signed him. He has big shoes to fill because Costa was a huge personality in the dressing room and a key player. 

In Pictures | Chelsea launch new third kit for 2017/18

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7/7 Chelsea launch new third kit

The circumstances surrounding Costa at the moment makes Morata’s arrival even more of a talking point.

People were always going to ask ‘is he going to be as strong as Costa? Are we going to see as much of him?’

So the way he has started, with three goals in four League matches, is a credit to him. 

That’s brilliant from Chelsea’s point of view because they are counting on him up front.

When you have one striker like Morata leading the line, you need him fit and scoring goals. 

There is pressure on him, of course, after replacing Fernando Torres as Chelsea’s record buy. If he’d got off to a negative start, all eyes would have been on him a lot more. 

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

I remember when Chelsea signed Torres – it was a huge statement by the club at the time.

But there was a lot of talk around Fernando when he was struggling to score. The fans stuck behind him but you could see how he was taking the criticism from elsewhere personally. He was quietly spoken and at times when he was sitting in the dressing room, it looked like there was a huge weight on his shoulders.

There is no answer to it other than scoring goals and it wasn’t coming easy for him. That is very tough to take, I don’t care what personality you have, so the fact Alvaro has hit the ground running takes that concern out of the equation.

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea begin their Champions League campaign tonight against Qarabag and as a club, they are back where they belong. Maybe missing out last season was a bit of a wake-up call, although it probably gave everyone some breathing space to go again.

“At times in the dressing-room it looked like there was a huge weight on Fernando’s shoulders”

Frank Lampard

Everyone is aware, including coach Antonio Conte, that it will be much harder to fight on both fronts, at home and in Europe, this season. 

But I think they have the potential to go all the way. Defensively, Chelsea are as good as anybody. 

The structure that Conte set up last season with three at the back clearly works as they won the title and they have added a few players in midfield – I know they lost Nemanja Matic but Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater give them depth. 

When I look at the other English teams in the Champions League, some of them will struggle at the back, whereas Chelsea have a great base. 

After that it comes down to the attacking players being in form, so Chelsea have a lot to be optimistic about.

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