Chelsea may be favourites for the Premier League title, but they have a slight problem in the fact star striker Diego Costa is once again injured and has missed today’s Community Shield clash with Arsenal.
The injury has been described as discomfort in his hamstring. Spanish international striker Costa was the Blues top scorers as Jose Mourinho’s side won the title, but he did suffer with niggling injuries last season and there seems to be a lasting concern over his fitness.
The striker was expected to feature for the Blues against Arsenal, after boss Mourinho stated he had no injury problems. It seems those injury niggles have not gone away and he is now a doubt for next weekend’s opening Premier League game of the season against Swansea.
Diego Costa arrived at Chelsea last summer as the predator that the Blues had lacked. The Brazilian-born striker scored 20 goals in 26 Premier League appearances in his debut season in the English game and generally gave top-flight defences a hard time.
His goals were vital ones. Costa was brought in as one of the missing pieces of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team and proceeded to do exactly what he had done the previous campaign, find the net on a regular basis.
Blues boss Mourinho was criticised by many for the loan signing of Colombian international striker Radamel Falcao. The former-Atletico Madrid striker has been in woeful form since his return from serious injury last summer.
His loan spell at Manchester United yielded just four goals and disappointment for everybody involved. He was labelled a Premier League flop by many pundits and fans.
It seemed that not everybody had written Falcao off though, as Mourinho made a surprise loan swoop for the out-of-sorts forward. According to a lot of people the Colombian would just warm the Chelsea bench, but with Costa’s fragile fitness condition Falcao may be needed his season.
He has not started today’s Community Shield, but he could feature quite a lot this season if Costa’s injury problems continue.
It seems Falcao is considered third choice striker with French international Loic Remy starting today’s clash with Arsenal, although Falcao has come on as a substitute at half-time. The former-QPR striker managed eight goals last season after another surprise move from QPR.
Mourinho is a canny operator and tends to know exactly what his team needs to improve. I am sure that Chelsea now trusts their boss’s judgement. He has surely earned that trust by now.
Costa was one of Chelsea’s star players last season, but in truth his absence from the team did not hamper the Blues claiming title glory. By the time he encountered injury problems towards the end of the campaign Chelsea were in a commanding position at the top of the table.
Other star players became more influential as the Blues clinched the title. Chelsea may be many things but they are definitely not a one-man team. He is just one of the galaxy of stars at Chelsea and the Blues do not completely depend on him to win games or trophies it seems.
Despite the Blues not completely relying on Costa he is the sort of player who thrives in big games. He never shy’s away from a challenge or any opponent and that is why he is so highly-rated.
He is the sort of niggly, horrible in your face striker that defenders hate coming up against and he is a vital player if Chelsea are going to challenge on all fronts this season.
Diego Costa may need a complete rest in aid of recovering from the problem he seems to have had for most of his career in European football. He very rarely gets a rest because he is such an important player for the Blues.
He went to last year’s World Cup with Spain carrying a knock and failed to perform to the best of his ability after suffering from injury problems at Atletico Madrid the previous campaign.
If Chelsea are going to challenge for the big trophies this season then they need to find a way to get, or more importantly keep Diego Costa clear of injuries. That is easier said than done, but Costa’s absence from the team could cost them dearly in the big games.
Is Diego Costa the key to Chelsea retaining their Premier League crown?