Chelsea legend: Why this defender can be replacement striker for Diego Costa

BRANISLAV IVANOVIC could easily fill in as a Chelsea striker, according to Pat Nevin.

Chelsea will be without Diego Costa on Boxing Day for their game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge due to suspension.

The striker will be serving a one-game ban after being shown his fifth yellow card in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend.

Michy Batshuayi is the obvious choice to fill in for the 28-year-old, however, club legend Pat Nevin has claimed he would love to see Ivanovic deployed as a striker.

“I will leave Branislav Ivanovic out of this discussion as I have yet to find many who agree with me that he could be a perfectly good striker,” Nevin said.

“His movement in the box from crosses is fantastic, his finishing is extremely good too and I suspect he might just be able to hold the ball up quite well also.

“When I say this to people they usually give me a funny look but although he is a 100/1 outsider, I would love to see it.

“Though it might just crush Michy’s confidence if he was overlooked for Brana.”

Ivanovic does have an incredible goalscoring record for a defender, bagging 33 goals for the Blues since signing from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008.

The 32-year-old is out of contract in June and is on a one-year rolling deal which is in line with Chelsea’s policy for players over 30.

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