After all said and done, Diego Costa remains at Chelsea for the 2017/18 campaign and couldn’t make the transfer he so desired. The 28-year-old has now been included in Chelsea’s squad for the Premier League campaign this season, but he has been excluded from the Champions League squad as he’d most likely make an exit from the club in the January transfer window.
So, Costa is stuck with Conte whom he recently ridiculed in the media, and has to be under the Chelsea boss until January 2018.
The big question is: what next for the Spain international?
Before we weigh his options, it’s best to look at how it all started with the Chelsea striker. Costa erred three different times.
First, after the arrival of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte from Italy, Costa reportedly told him he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge in just their first meeting before the start of the season. This must have started Conte’s anger for the Spain international, but the Chelsea boss took it in good stride.
Secondly, the January transfer saga was another melting point that strained Costa’s relationship with Conte. After a massive bid from China that would make Costa football’s highest paid player, the 28-year-old’s head was turned on as he set his heart on leaving Chelsea halfway through the season, but Chelsea were bent on keeping him till the end of the season, as the Blues were in a massive title fight. I’m sure, it was at this point where Conte got fed up with Costa and couldn’t wait to get rid of him at the end of the season.
Costa took it to another level at the end of the season when he was the only Chelsea player that responded negatively to the text sent by the Chelsea manager, further irritating the Chelsea boss who told him to leave the club. Costa surely didn’t learn his lesson at this point as he once partied in an Atletico Madrid shirt, mocked Conte and then left the Chelsea training ground without permission.
Well, no matter the love we have for Costa and how much we appreciate what he has done for the club, a line has to be drawn here – no player should be bigger than the club.
Football is a very unpredictable game, both on the field of play and off it. Surely, Costa didn’t envision that he’d remain at Chelsea till the close of the transfer window, and his so-called Atletico Madrid didn’t even do much to re-sign him.
With the World Cup next year, in what might be Costa’s last World Cup (he’d be 32 by the following World Cup), he has to bend to the demands of Conte, else he might lose five months of football (he has lost one already), and this could kill his World Cup chances. It might even kill his football career if care isn’t taken.
The best thing Costa can do now is swallow his pride and apologise to Antonio Conte, his teammates and the Chelsea fans. He’s still very much loved by the fans, but his attitude must give way.