Watching Diego Costa struggle for Spain this summer it was hard to believe he was the same man that fired Atletico Madrid to La Liga glory last season. But the truth is, Costa was spent by the time he touched down in Brazil. He was injured and in desperate need of a rest.
Now he has arrived in England, signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side in a £32m deal. But what striker will we see in the Premier League? The prolific toughman of Atletico or the impotent brute that failed to reach any heights with Spain?
Well they say never judge a player on a World Cup alone. Usually that means don’t run out and sign a player basedon one good competition but the truth can be said about not making a harsh judgement based on a bad tournament either.
Costa has all the tools in his locker to really make it big in the EPL with the ‘Blues’.
The twenty-five year old is a big lad, who can definitely put it about a bit and mix it up with the best defenders in the land. He has a no-nonsense style that will intimidate opposing players from the get go. But he isn’t just a big lump of a striker that can only bash his way to goals. He has deceptive pace that can get him beyond markers and defenders can’t afford to get to close or he can spin them.
Diego can be explosive if he gets just a sniff at a goal, often electing to get his shots off with his first touch and usually keeping those shots low. That often takes defenders out the game and gives the goalkeepers less time to make the best decisions. The Brazilian born goalscorer is also capable of scoring with both feet and likes to improvise with his finishes too, not unlike Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Chelsea’s new number nineteen will hopefully create more opportunities for players like Willan, Andre Schurrle, Oscar and Eden Hazard too. As English defences try and get to grips with the bulky monster that could/should create space in and around the area for the creative forwards around him to exploit.
At Stamford Bridge he’ll have ideal leaders in Didier Drogba and John Terry. Drogba will be on hand to show the hitman how to use his strength as his best weapon. While Terry can get Costa used to the rough house tactic certain teams might employ on the striker in England.
A huge part of Costa’s style is gamesmanship. He irritates opponents, gets in their faces and starts rows at the drop of a hat. It’ll be interesting to see how many fouls he wins and gives away! Plus how will the Premier League refs deal with him? Will they target him? No doubt some of the better defenders will try and expose his volatile nature and get him carded.
No signing ever guarantees you goals these days. Chelsea’s £50m Fernando Torres is a prime example of getting it wrong. But with Costa I get the feeling he is tailor-made for the English Premier League and if he stays fit and out of trouble then he will be there or thereabouts in the top scorer charts come May 2015.
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