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Why This £31m Star Will Suit Chelsea More Than Arsenal

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The rumours of the Brazil born Spanish striker Diego Costa joining West London club Chelsea has always had consistent momentum. But recently the striker alerted all potential buyers that quite a few clubs are interested in him. This has resulted in fresh rumours surfacing, reporting that Arsene Wenger is also interested to battle massive favourites Chelsea for the signature of the prolific Rojiblancos hitman as he is ready to pay the £31million release as per reports from Mirror. 

It is no real surprise that Arsenal desperately want a forward, who can lift up their team and empower them to challenge for trophies again, starting from next season. Wenger has publicly said that there won’t be any “massive” signings this coming summer. To be fair to him, the World Cup is round the corner and would consume a good full month of the window, and most of the world class stars and transfer targets will be busy playing football at the highest level, resulting in elevated prices or injuries. Buying players for elated prices has never been Wenger’s policy as he always looks for quality players who are value for money.

Arsenal fans despise their current marksman Olivier Giroud but he can hardly be called a flop as he was bought for a relatively low sum of around £12million pounds and he has delivered well, despite being in his limits as he has bagged 16 league goals and a handful of assists this season. Arsene Wenger has admitted that he might have overplayed Giroud and looks to solve the striking options this summer, as having a world class finisher is always a key factor in order to challenge for trophies. But with “massive” signings ruled out and still Diego Costa and Arsenal link-up rumours surfacing, we still look at the possibility and effectiveness of the Spaniard playing in Arsenal and then compare it with his compatibility with Chelsea’s style of play.

Much of last season’s initial headlines were made by Arsene Wenger’s aggressive and smart purchase of Mesut Ozil, which evoked fear in their rivals as the Gunners were immediately boosted by the German’s quality. It was a signal of intent, an intent to fight for a trophy and rise above the usual. And Wenger, despite playing down chances of massive signings, might just succumb to the demands of the fans who have been loyal and supportive of him throughout Arsenal’s financial struggles and trophy droughts.

Despite the financial issues, Arsenal have always impressed with beautiful football. Playing the ideal brand of football has been the identity of Arsene Wenger’s men. Diego Costa is the type of striker who is currently playing in a team which showcases styles of football which is far from the brand of football preached at the Emirates.

Costa is an aggressive, strong and clinical striker, a type of striker who isn’t beautiful on the pitch but definitely effective. On the pitch, Costa offers a lot of stamina, work ethic and direct attacking. If Arsenal want to set up a game revolving around Costa, probably they’ll succeed. But Costa won’t offer the style of link-up play that a striker of the quality of Van Persie offered.

Costa’s link-up is highly effective in the final third, probably the only thing that matters at the end of the day, but Arsenal are a team that requires players to play a passing game where Costa may be required to pop with some crossing from the wings. Diego Costa by all means is a central player. Costa is a certain up gradation on Giroud as the Spaniard has more aggression and pace in comparison to the French International but finally, Arsenal who have developed a new game style with midfield scorers as well need someone who is a versatile and a passing oriented forward.

Costa has played in supporting striker roles, but his built and style of play in a counter attack/direct minded team like Atleti makes us doubly sure that that was just his position on paper rather than on the pitch.

When we consider Chelsea, we can’t help but compare his game with legend Didier Drogba’s style of play. Costa has the anticipation and the urgency that currently all three forwards in the Blues have lacked to show consistently. He is aggressive and a bully on the pitch. Unlike Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o, Diego Costa demands passes and instructs his team-mates to provide him service. He’s that type of player that Jose Mourinho wants- A striker who wants to score goals, and be reasonably selfish with a healthy confidence level in him. Didier Drogba’s style of play in his prime Chelsea days can be compared to Costa’s.

Costa likes aerial deliveries as well as crosses delivered to him as he has strength and ball control to hold on possession and create chances for himself. He may not have the explosive burst of pace that Fernando Torres once boasted of, but he is certainly fast enough to beat the offside traps at will and has the strength to fend off centre backs. It is the type of goals he has scored for Atletico Madrid that has caught the eye of many Chelsea fans. Atletico play football that is identical to the type of football Mourinho wants to implement in his current Chelsea.

A striker who can lift up the team with his confidence is the one who can give direction to his team’s attacking players. Eto’o seemed to do it in patches but it was obvious that the Cameroonian is looking beyond his best playing years. When the Chelsea attacking midfield, boasting the likes of Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Schurrle and Salah, get one confident striker, for whom they have to create chances, the team balance is restored.

Teams should ideally be built around strikers, and Jose Mourinho recently said that he lacks a “real” striker and is obviously building a team around Eden Hazard. So a certain Diego Costa would have Hazard, Oscar and Willian feeding him passes in the final third. Another attribute that helps Costa is that he’s difficult to mark. His off the ball movement is excellent, courtesy to his athleticism. Jose Mourinho’s team is primarily based on work ethic and athleticism and Costa will be the final piece in the jigsaw.

Considering Chelsea’s play in the final third, Costa can improve the game for the Blues. Against weaker opposition, Costa can use his superior strength and aerial threat tagged with his clinical finishing. Costa has taken half the number of shots taken by Cristiano Ronaldo and has scored nearly the same number of goals, a stat that is testimony to the fact that Costa has been the most clinical striker in the world this season.

Just like Costa is an up gradation to Giroud, he is a level above Torres and Ba in the current era. He has traits of Torres as well as Ba, something which is good for the Blues. The only doubt probably can be that Costa has been relatively unknown before this season. But he has always been the talented youngster who has now proved to be a late bloomer. He can certainly be Chelsea’s attack leader for the coming season.

Final Verdict:

Costa can ideally fit into both teams, but he may not ideally make much of a difference for Arsenal as much as he would for Chelsea. Chelsea have a stronger squad and have many players to guarantee ball possession if needed and with the confidence of a big striker up front, Chelsea can get back to playing direct football.

Arsenal on the other hand can buy a striker who is not as costly as Costa and can be relatively as clinical as him. Yes Costa can use both his feet and can score at least 10 more goals that what Giroud has managed this season, yet a striker with a much better versatility, someone who can blend in the team as a winger and with the style of play that epitomizes the ideal type of football than the aggressive, can provide more than what Costa could do.

Stats via squawka