Chelsea supporters were rejoicing earlier this season, under the impression that the signing of Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa had miraculously solved all of their goalscoring problems.
In all fairness, that was certainly how it looked at the start of the season, as the Spanish international made an impressive start to his Premier League career, scoring seven goals in his first four games, including a hat-trick in the 4-2 thrashing of Swansea City.
But here’s a question a question for you to consider – has his record since then lived up to all the hype? Because the £32m man, who is earning £150,000-per-week, has bagged just ten goals in 23 games since his initial purple patch.
Costa has scored less Champions League goals than Rickie Lambert this season, while he failed to find the net at any point during the Blues’ triumphant Capital One Cup run – although he did strike via a deflection during the final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Of his 17 Premier League goals so far this season, only three of them have come against teams in the top eight – one each against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – while his success has recently been overshadowed by Spurs youngster Harry Kane, who has 26 this term.
Discipline is another major issue. He’s picked up 11 yellow cards for club and country so far this season, while he was also handed a retrospective suspension for his League Cup stamp on Liverpool defender Emre Can.
Jose Mourinho has been forced to defend Costa for diving, fighting and clashing with referees. The Daily Mail compared him to Luis Suarez earlier this year, but Costa does not offer anywhere near as much as the former Liverpool striker did to the Premier League.
Suarez has his problems, there is no debating that, but not only is he more prolific, he’s also the superior team player, as he’s proved at Barcelona so far this season. While Costa is the main man, Suarez is equally capable of linking up with the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Costa is a bulldozer of a player, and one that will likely have further moments of success throughout his Chelsea career, but to suggest he’s any huge upgrade on the Fernando Torres -Demba Ba – Samuel Eto’o trio of last season is harsh on another member of the Blues squad.
Cesc Fabregas started the season in supreme form, producing more assists than most other Premier League teams could produce goals, and Costa’s lack of goals – he’s without one in seven games – has coincided with his countryman’s injury.
It’s Fabregas, not Costa, who deserves the plaudits for transforming Chelsea into likely Premier League champions. And while many Blues fans will no doubt disagree with this assessment, English defences are already starting to work Costa out.
Will Costa ever be as prolific as a Luis Suarez or a Sergio Aguero? Not for us.