Chelsea fans have a love-hate relationship with Diego Costa. When the Brazil international first arrived in the Premier League, his seemingly uncontrollable aggression made him arguably the most maligned player in the English top flight.
He attacked teams with the fury of a tempest while still hitting the back of the net on a consistent basis.
Costa’s antics saw him quickly become public enemy number one in the Premier League, but to Chelsea fans, he was a real favourite at Stamford Bridge. Not anymore, though, with quite a number of the club’s supporters now, perhaps unsurprisingly, keen on the arrival of a new striker to assume the mantle of Chelsea’s goalscoring machine.
Antonio Conte has also expressed his desire to offload the Spain international via a text message which stated that the 28-year-old is not in his plans for the upcoming season despite having scored 20 goals and registered seven assists in the recently concluded season,
His compatriot and teammate Pedro Rodriguez has come out to defend Costa amid his possible exit claiming that the team would be weaker without him. Many Chelsea fans disagree, though, with Lukaku currently linked with a summer move to Stamford Bridge.
How did things go so wrong for Costa who played a huge role in Chelsea’s title push last season?
We’ll have to go back to the root of the problem, no not his first yellow card, but his spirited push for a return to Atletico Madrid after his first season at Chelsea.
His claims of being homesick were met with sympathy from the Blues, but they simply were not keen on losing him at the time given he had established himself as an integral part of how Chelsea play.
Somehow he escaped being dubbed a want-away as the incident was swept under the carpet.
The following season, as we all know, was abysmal, not just for Costa but the entire Chelsea team, so it would be unfair to single out the Brazil-born striker for underperforming during an oddity, more so, seeing as he scored a lot of important goals in Chelsea’s title run the last term.
It’s worth noting, though, that Costa switched off in the second half of last season. He stopped scoring goals with regularity and even had a row with Conte at the turn of the year over a switch to a Chinese club as per reports.
He had a mini goal drought was as a result of lack of competition. Michy Batshuayi was obviously not an option for Conte last season bar the odd ‘small game’ thus prompting Costa to get too comfortable.
Recent events have now stripped Costa of all his power and footballing comfort as Chelsea fans, as well as Antonio Conte, are intent on offloading him this summer.
Losing Costa, though would be a huge mistake on Chelsea’s part seeing as his style of play has helped the team in more ways than one since he arrived at the London outfit.
When he didn’t score, he still proved to be a thorn in the opposition’s side, thus forcing them to make mistakes and ultimately give Chelsea the upper hand.
He’s the type of player who doesn’t need to score in a bid to be influential. His aggression in itself is a dangerous weapon which when properly utilised, can decide the outcome of games.
With a new striker set to arrive in the coming months, Conte would do well to retain Costa’s services as he would be forced to compete for his place in the lineup which could very well awaken the Costa who conquered La Liga before his arrival at Chelsea.