It seems rather strange that English champions Chelsea are almost ignoring one of the key players in their Premier League title win last season. Striker Diego Costa now seems to be an outcast at the English champions.
The Spaniard was informed by text message earlier this summer that Blues boss Antonio Conte no longer wanted him at the club.
The Spanish international has seemingly been frozen out in south west London after being left out the Blues squad for their pre-season tour of Asia.
The striker has taken to Instagram to update fans on his condition and whereabouts. He is in fact in Brazil attempting to stay fit.
A formidable force on his day
On his day, Diego Costa is one of the best out-and-out central strikers in world football. His rugged approach and never-say-die attitude has endeared him to Chelsea fans. it has also turned him into a pantomime villain to fans of opposition teams.
In truth, Costa is the sort of player that every fan would love in their team. Costa has won the Premier League title in two of his three seasons at Chelsea, scoring 20 times in both title-winning campaigns.
His ability to hold the ball up and bring teammates into the game is matched by virtual none of his contemporaries. The 28-year-old is truly a unique player.
He is difficult to handle
Costa is a fantastic footballer. His feisty natural makes him a nightmare for opposing defences. However, as Conte discovered last season he can be a nightmare for managers too.
Conte seemed to have brought the best out of the striker in the first half of last season. The Spanish international was back to his fearsome best, leading the Chelsea line like a man possessed.
Unfortunately, a reported training ground incident over a botched big-money move to China in January seemed to change the pair’s relationship. Costa missed a few games after the incident, but eventually, it seemed the two had built some Stamford bridges.
Costa was not as effective in the second half of the campaign as he was in the first half. However, he still led the line pretty well for the Blues and made enough of a contribution to help the Blues seal the title.
Chelsea’s Italian boss Conte may seem affable enough. However, he too is feisty and it seems he could not wait to rid the club of Costa this summer.
However, despite questions over Costa’s temperament, he is still a key figure for the Blues. It seems Chelsea boss Conte has discarded him without much care. That suggests that the Italian feels the striker is an unsettling influence in the dressing room.
Future now in limbo
A return to former club Atletico Madrid seemed to be the ideal move for the striker this summer. A move to the Spanish capital is in doubt with Atletico unable to register players until January 2018 due to a transfer ban.
Despite, Los Rojiblancos’ transfer ban, the Spanish club are still favourites to land the striker at odds of 1/3 this summer. Any summer move to Atletico would mean that the striker would miss the first half of the new campaign.
Missed games would jeopardise his place in Spain’s World Cup squad. However, it seems that a move back to Madrid is Costa’s preferred option this summer. Chelsea have now replaced the striker with international teammate Alvaro Morata, who could himself cement his place in La Roja’s squad with strong performances for the Blues.
There seems no way back for Costa and Conte’s relationship. That means the feisty striker looks unlikely to play for Chelsea again. As I have stated in previous articles he will be difficult to replace, though.
I am a big fan of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and his managerial record speaks for itself. However, I cannot help thinking that he may have well have handled this situation in a different manner that could have benefitted everybody involved.
Where will Diego Costa be plying his trade next season?
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