Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Diego Costa can ‘kiss and cuddle’ his Chelsea career goodbye

Diego Costa heading for the exit door? / Image via thefa.com

Diego Costa heading for the exit door? / Image via thefa.com

Jose Mourinho is willing to forgive, but he will never forget.

Much publicised spat between the Chelsea manager and the Blues striker has caused quite a stir, but Jose Mourinho was quick to play down any bad blood with Diego Costa.

His public appearance on the matter has been conveniently impeccable.

“I wanted him to do a certain movement which he didn’t and we reacted at each other, but there were a few kisses and cuddles in the dressing room at the halftime and everything is all right”, Portuguese tactician said after the 4-0 triumph against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

With the highly important game against Tottenham in sight, Mourinho was expected to once again turn towards his prolific striker to spearhead the attack at White Hart Lane, and there were a lot of raised eyebrows when Mourinho decided to leave the Spaniard on the bench.

The frustration culminated in the closing stages of the game when Diego Costa realised he will not be getting his chance, despite being told to warm up by his manager.

The Chelsea frontman reacted impulsively by tossing his bib in the air, which ended up landing just behind his manager.

Aware that the incident could ultimately be used in his advantage, Jose Mourinho has laughed off the striker’s tantrum, stating that understood why he was upset.

Last season’s Costa

Prior to his last season’s injury, Diego Costa scored 20 goals in 24 appearances for Chelsea, adding two assists in the process. With his shot accuracy of almost 50% and the conversion rate of more than 25%, Diego Costa was the most dangerous player in Mourinho’s team.

Lethal in front of goal, the 27-year-old Spanish striker was leading the Chelsea firepower last season.

Seemingly ready to put the bib incident behind him, Jose Mourinho will not let this particular moment unattended.

Falling in the pit along with the rest of the squad, Diego Costa might end up being the one to take the hit for the entire team.

This season’s Costa

With only 3 goals in 11 Premier League games thus far, Diego Costa is a shadow of his former self.

His shot accuracy and conversion rate have seen a dramatic drop to 39% and 13%, respectively, leaving Mourinho short of options upfront.

Since Radamel Falcao is already packed and ready to go in January, it is almost certain that Mourinho will bring in the fresh blood to Stamford Bridge.

Costa will be left to roll with the punches, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see him leave in January, or more likely next summer, with Chelsea already lining up a couple of options to replace their towering striker with.

The alternatives

Speculations involving Diego Costa’s future at Stamford Bridge have outlined a couple of names.

Jose Mourinho is the keen admirer of Antoine Griezmann’s talents and the French forward might be the perfect answer to Mourinho’s woes. Atletico Madrid striker is a player of different qualities to Diego Costa, who represents the raw physical presence in the area, which Chelsea lacked since the departure of fan favourite Didier Drogba.

However, with Costa’s current form, sacrificing the striker for the sake of a change in pace could be a valid option. What is more, Atletico Madrid might be tempted for a deal which could see their former man Costa make a return to Vicente Calderon.

The Spanish outlet are reportedly ready to trigger the release clause in Costa’s deal, which would see the Spaniard return to La Liga for a fee of £28 million.

The German Joker

Another name on the list is Thomas Muller.

Chelsea are reportedly ready to engage in head-to-head battle with Manchester United in pursuit of Bayern Munich star. The German is a versatile football player able to fill in a number of positions on the pitch and the one who could offer different options to Jose Mourinho’s team.

Chelsea manager performed an experiment at White Hart Lane, as playing without a striker could be an indicator of Mourinho’s idea to change the general style of play which will require a more mobile striker, who will roam into spaces and whose off-ball movement will not be restricted to the keeper’s area.

Bayern Munich will be difficult to persuade though, as letting another Bavarian leave after the departure of Bastian Schweinsteiger would be a huge blow for the club.

The interim solution

Eden Hazard was superbly utilized as makeshift striker and the Belgian played one of his best games so far in the campaign against Tottenham.

He covered a lot of space, moving from left to right, going back to the centre of the pitch to pick up balls. Even Mourinho acknowledged that much criticised Belgian had displayed his best performance of the season, and the idea of having a mobile striker up front is looking more and more appealing to Mourinho, who will be looking to get rid of the predictability in his play.

Diego Costa is unable to perform such a role and he could be ultimately sacrificed. If not in January, then surely in summer of 2016. Either way, he can kiss and cuddle his long-term Chelsea future goodbye.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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