Morata a 'different player' since Juventus move, declares Luis Enrique

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Spain coach Luis Enrique had no hesitations in handing Alvaro Morata an international recall after claiming the forward has turned himself into a different player at Juventus.

Morata last played for Spain in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Romania last November, seemingly falling out of favour since.

But the 28-year-old re-joined Juventus on loan from Atletico Madrid in September, and an upturn in form has brought him six goals in seven games for the Bianconeri.

Morata has scored 17 times in 33 appearances for Spain since making his debut in November 2014, but his consistency at club level has been questioned in the past.

However, Luis Enrique has closely monitored Morata's performances at Juve and seen enough to warrant his return to the squad.

Spain face the Netherlands in a friendly on Wednesday, before Nations League clashes with Switzerland and Germany.

"I call on Morata because since he returned to Juventus, he is confident and his numbers indicate that," Luis Enrique told a media conference on Friday.

"You can see a different player with many aspects improved in attack and defence. It is always a pleasure to have Alvaro again.

"Those of us who are outside can appreciate that, in terms of confidence and performance, Morata in attack is better than previously."

Luis Enrique also named Atletico midfielder Koke in his squad after an international exile of just over two years.

Koke, 28, last played for Spain in a 4-1 friendly defeat of Wales in October 2018.

The coach continued: "I have always liked Koke, he is of a high level and as a person he's 10 out of 10. The midfield is my weakness and there is a lot of competition. We will ask him for other things."

With Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara absent due to injury, there was also a first senior call-up for Koke's Atletico team-mate Marcos Llorente, and Luis Enrique backed him to make an impact.

He added: "Llorente is a very complete player, I will ask him where he is most comfortable. He is very versatile.

"He has scored goals, [got] assists, is powerful, well-equipped technically. He is eager to see what he can offer us.

"There are players who are not included due to injury, but it opens up the opportunity to see others. It is an interesting situation for me, to prepare for three very interesting games."