Diego Costa has hit the ground running at his new club. The Brazilian-born forward enjoyed a dream debut vs. NK Olimpija Ljubjana, a game in which he scored his first goal for Chelsea FC. The London outfit is currently touring Europe on a preseason trip which will come to an end on Aug. 12 at Stamford Bridge where they will be hosting Real Sociedad.
Chelsea fell just short of the Premier League title last season simply because their strikers were not getting the job done up front. The club failed to address this need at the beginning of the season and also failed in their attempts to pry Wayne Rooney from Manchester United. While they boasted the sternest defense and the most attractive looking midfield in the league, their strike force was nothing compared to that of Liverpool and Manchester City.
Chelsea certainly look prepared this season. They have finally secured a world-class striker and manager Jose Mourinho is no longer riding a little horse. It would be fair to note that in the past, world-class strikers have failed to make a good impression at Chelsea. Adrian Mutu, Andriy Schevchenko, Hernan Crespo and a certain Fernando Torres have all been nothing short of dismal during their Chelsea careers; and while this factor may heap a fair amount of pressure on new strikers, Costa does not seem bothered. He has always been one who embraces controversy and possesses an impervious character.
Costa is Brazilian by birth but has chosen to represent Spain on the International stage. He was callous enough to make that choice knowing that the 2014 World Cup Finals would be hosted by his native country Brazil. He knew that he would have to endure verbal abuse from his countrymen with every step he took out on the pitch, but he did not seem bothered. Costa has been known to get involved in heated verbal battles with opposing players and referees during matches. He is not afraid of anything and constantly torments defenders with his huge frame. He has also shown that he would do anything to get his goal; he almost broke a leg last season by intentionally smashing into a goalpost to ensure that the ball crossed the line whilst playing for Atletico Madrid.
The striker played an integral role in winning Atletico the La Liga title last season and bagged 27 goals in 35 league appearances for the club. He did not register a hat-trick during the season, and while some may frown upon that statistic, I believe that it shows the consistency of this player. He only failed to score in eight games the entire season which is an amazing feat.
Costa completed a transfer move to Chelsea on July 15, and the transition appears seamless. Costa has played three games for the Blues, scored one goal in his first game and provided two assists in the following game. The goal was scored in spectacular fashion; after outrunning two defenders on either side to latch onto a neatly placed pass from Cesc Fabregas (another new acquisition) he showed a quick change of pace to get himself the space he needed and smashed the ball past the keeper.
Chelsea only need goals from the forward, but he has displayed other attributes. His work rate is brilliant, and he has been seen tracking back on the defensive end to break up opposition play. His strength on the ball is a joy to watch, and he has also exhibited a high level of unselfishness. He came bearing down on goal very early in a friendly game vs. Vitesse Arnhem but squared the ball off for Egyptian Mohammed Salah to score with an easy tap in. He did exactly the same towards the end of the game when he set Nemanja Matic up with a sitter after he had shown the Vitesse defenders a clean pair of heels.
Costa is a Mourinho type striker; he possesses the strength, pace and ability to hold the ball up while bringing teammates into a play. He should fit right into the Chelsea setup and will be leading the charge towards title success come the new season. A vacant post has been filled this summer; Diego Costa is surely the right man for the job.