For Atletico Madrid star and Chelsea’s prime target Diego Costa, this World Cup is alarmingly similar to the one Chelsea’s current striker Fernando Torres had four years back when he was still in his best elements but was rushed into the World Cup soon after he recovered from an injury.
Costa has had a forgettable tournament in his birth country, constantly getting booed and particularly being the weak link in Spain’s attack. After being chosen to spearhead La Roja’s attack once he chose Spain over his birth country Brazil, Costa has been a huge let-down after being invisible in the two games he played as Spain crashed out of the tournament. The disappointment of Chelsea supporters is even more massive when the striker whom they wanted to be replaced, that is Fernando Torres, a terrible misfit in a Chelsea side, still managed to get more goals to his name for the ousted World Champions.
Stat Attack: Chelsea target performs poorer than current Chelsea flop
Squawka stats have been stinging on Diego Costa’s lacklustre showing. Costa has played 125 minutes of football, has attempted 5 shots without a single one on target. His movement has been non-existent as he was negated by the opposition defenders, and he shows a clear lack of tactical knowledge playing for a team which dominates the game.
Costa definitely played in a system that was far too different in comparison to Spain’s way of playing, but he allowed himself to be consumed by the central defenders without making himself available for a key pass. Costa is known for his physical strength and his aerial ability as well, but the Brazilian born Spaniard has failed to win a single aerial duel which is shocking to say the least.
Fernando Torres hasn’t had a great tournament as well. The Chelsea striker was chosen as a substitute for the tournament, in a questionable decision where he left Manchester City forwards Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas out of the 23 man team. Torres got lucky here because of the poor form of Negredo towards the business end, while Navas was not match fit. But here, even the inclusion of Costa becomes shady as the Atletico striker was also suffering from a hamstring injury.
Torres still looked more the deal as he got himself a goal and was constantly looking to make runs into space. Playmakers like Xavi and Iniesta love to play strikers through if they have the intelligence to make clever runs. Torres, though being way under-confident than his former self and obviously a yard slower, still made some runs and got a goal. He clearly showed signs of shyness from shooting as he notched only 2 shots, both on target though. Fernando Torres surprisingly won 7 aerial battles with defenders with 77%success.
If Diego Costa is such a tactically naïve player, buying him for Chelsea at a price looming around £32million can be a real gamble. Fans’ expectations on Costa as well as Mourinho are too high and having another flop after Torres’ mega signing can be a real disaster for the Blues’ coming season.
Positives for Chelsea FC and Mourinho
This tournament may showcase Costa’s technical and mental flaws regarding the game, but when we look at Spanish players, we realise that they were hardly bothered to provide service to Costa. Diego Costa is not the type of striker who would gel in with the midfield and play beautiful football, but he is a direct attacker, and would look to shoot, be it clinical or not, whenever in the penalty box.
Mourinho despises the passing game, and prefers the way Atletico Madrid played the whole season. Chelsea’s style could be similar to what Atletico play and going by Diego Costa’s current showing in Brazil, it becomes altogether clear that he is born to play direct and simple football. Mourinho would not have to break his head regarding the tactical weakness of Costa, as Chelsea are sure to retain Torres and would buy another forward capable of operating wide as well.
Is he a gamble or a safe bet: Gamble
Is he worth £32million: His true worth may be £20million, but because he is such an important player for Atletico, Chelsea would have to spend more than that if they want him.