The Premier League has already served up with our biggest surprises even before the start of the season. Who would have thought that one of the talented midfielders of the modern game Paul Pogba will be returning to the Premier League and to Manchester United for that matter. The Premier League still has more to offer and maybe the prodigal son might return to Chelsea as well. Everton’s talent striker Lukaku, who is looking for closure might be the last mega deal that can happen till the English transfer market is open.
Antonio Conte has embarked upon his journey and his high-intensity practice sessions are just the beginning. Having already made two very intelligent signings in the form of Kante and Batshuayi he is still looking to strengthen this squad and take Chelsea back to the zenith. Conte has made Lukaku his primary target this season after the future over Costa looks unclear.
Chelsea would be doing really well if both Costa and Lukaku play together. But then again this ideal situation is too good to exist at the moment. Lukaku a more technically gifted player than Costa had a prolific season in terms of goals and chances created. Conte who wants a target man at the end of the pitch might be able to solve his problem with Lukaku. Strong with a good height he can prove to be a nightmare to the defences in the Premier League and he has already proven that. The chances created by him last season were 51 whereas Costa could only manage a mere 30. Lukaku had a more consistent season in terms of goals scored and assists whereas Costa could only perform in the latter half of the season.
Goals per game ratio also favours the Belgian with 0.41 goals per game. Costa though on a good day can be a nightmare to any defence in the world. His attitude is also a matter of question. Conte won’t tolerate any nuisance on the pitch and off as well, as we have seen with the Italian team. The famous “bib throwing” incident involving Mourinho and Costa is not something that Conte will look forward to in his debut season. So the Belgian has a clear edge over his Spanish counterpart.
Physically more stronger than Costa, Lukaku has a good leap which makes him a formidable target in set pieces. His ability to hold the ball and pass is much better than Costa and he will be a much better deal than Costa at the moment. But as Costa has shown before he doesn’t shy away from challenges and this is a challenge that he will relish and on a good day he can pick the best defences apart.
But comparing Costa based on his performances last season will be unfair to the player as he has proven before how deadly a striker he is. But the Belgian will sure be a more reliable choice as a first number nine.
Stats taken from Squawka