Shocking reports hit the wire today that Chelsea have dropped star striker and leading goal scorer Diego Costa from their starting squad ahead of their trip to Leicester City this weekend. Apparently Costa has not trained for the past three days after allegedly yelling a team fitness coach along with head boss Antonio Conte. The argument seems to have stemmed from Costa citing a back injury but the team physios and Conte are not believing him. The reason for their skepticism lies within a £30 million a year offer from a Chinese club that has peaked his interest. Costa is potentially trying to force Chelsea’s hand by nursing an injury that may or may not be that severe. It’s a staggering amount of money, a pay day which could earn him as high as £500,000 per week. Sources believe that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will not entertain moving the striker and will hold his rights for two years until the contract expires if the player pushes for a transfer. This could get ugly.
Costa is a volatile and emotional player, one who possess great talent on the field but recently has become a headache in some respects off the pitch. The relationship between him and Conte appeared to be stable but at times it’s been fractured but they’ve managed to put their differences aside for the betterment of the club. His explosiveness and his fury can be described as a blessing and a curse. He toes the line between rage and passion every game and you never know when he’s going to explode.
This past summer after completing his second season, a miserable campaign compared to his brilliance in year one, in London he was rumored to be headed back to Atletico Madrid but cooler heads prevailed and both moved forward. Costa has set the league on fire this season leading the PL in scoring with 14 goals and helping Chelsea to the top spot in the Premier League table. Chelsea had a 13 game winning streak snapped this past week after losing to Tottenham so rebounding against Leicester City is crucial for their title hopes. They’ll have to do so without Costa and more to come on this story as it progresses.
Last year I was in the camp to get rid of Costa. I appreciated all that he did in his first season and Chelsea won the title in a near flawless season but in year two everything digressed backwards. Costa looked out of shape, his temper was getting him (and the team) into serious problems and overall I wasn’t impressed with his body of work as a striker. This year Costa has me bought into him as a premier forward. He’s a possesses great combination of strength and technical skill and when you need a big goal he’s always there. He’s perfect for the system that Chelsea wants to run. You don’t just replace Costa on this roster unless you’re going to break the bank for a world class striker who would be a shock signing. I hope Chelsea and Costa resolve their differences and he returns to the club sooner rather than later. The Blues are five points clear of Liverpool and seven points ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham. Winning the Premier League is an attainable goal but without Costa I don’t think it’s possible.