Not since Didier Drogba has Chelsea had a powerfully efficient striker. We had a few who tried to replace the Ivorian, but none could fill his boots effectively. Fernando Torres was the closest, but even he had his limits. He lacked the vision, power, and consistency of Drogba. Chelsea had to depend on other forward players for most of its goals prior to the 2014/15 season; that was when everything changed at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea acquired Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid for a sum in excess of £30 million. It was a big amount for a player who had only impressed for just over a season but it was well worth it.
Diego started life in England with a bang, scoring 20 times in his debut season. No Chelsea striker had managed that much since Didier Drogba. Costa could have scored even more save for occasional injury layoffs. Since that season, he has been great for Chelsea. When he isn’t scoring, he is assisting and creating space for his teammates. Chelsea fans have come to love the man, and have tagged him the ‘new Drogba’. The Spain international’s stay at Chelsea doesn’t look like it’ll be a lengthy one though, if recent events are anything to go by.
Last week, reports emerged of a training ground bust-up between Costa and a medical staff at Cobham. Conte had to interfere, and was ‘disrespected’ in the process. That ultimately earned the Spain international a suspension from the Leicester game. The reason for the fight, reports say was a bid from a Chinese club for him, which Chelsea turned down. According to reports, Costa tried to force Chelsea into unpleasant contract negotiations as a result of the bid, but the club refused, and that got him angry — an emotion he took to training. Of course, the Chelsea management and Conte denied a rift, and claimed Costa didn’t play because of injury, but you’ll recall that this wouldn’t be the first time Costa has tried to leave Chelsea.
After the terrible outing in 2015/16, rumours emerged of a potential move for Costa back to Atletico, as a result of his unhappiness in England; Chelsea refused to say anything about it officially, but Costa eventually confirmed it in an interview last year.
I could be wrong, but it does seem to me that the Spain international is really keen on staying at Chelsea for the long-term. His body language suggests so. It is a sad thing to think of, but it’s something we must quickly come to terms with, to avoid disappointment. If you asked me, I’d suggest we sell Costa if that’s what he desires, and replace him with someone even better. He may be good, but he’s not the best in the game. There are a lot of hot strikers out there who’ll give anything to come play for us. We’re too big a club to get to the level where we have to beg players to stay. If you do not want to stay, leave, someone else will fill the void. This is my take on the Costa saga.