A ruthless hat-trick in the Potteries took Morata’s tally to seven goals in seven games for club and country since completing his £60million switch from Real Madrid to fill the void left by the controversial Costa.

It left the 24-year-old in perfect shape ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, where Morata can expect a hostile reception after his long association with their city rivals.

And goalkeeper Courtois admits Morata is already on the way to replacing his close friend Costa, who could be present on Wednesday after sealing a £57m return to Atletico last week but is unable to play until January.

“He is a very good friend of mine. It will be nice to see him,” said Courtois of Costa, who he first met during his own three-year loan stint with Atletico.

“Diego was an under-rated striker here in England. People paid too much attention to him being a little bully on the field rather than looking at his quality.

“He is one of the nicest, funniest guys I know. He is also a top striker, so I am happy that until New Year we will not have to face him.