Diego Costa Signs for Atletico Madrid

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Diego Costa Signs for Atletico Madrid

Diego Costa signs for Atletico Madrid on a preliminary basis and will join the club in January. The transfer fee is rumoured to be around £58m in total, according to ESPN. Costa is yet to agree on personal terms and undergo a medical, before returning to his old club.

Goalscorer

Chelsea will lose an important goalscorer in Costa. He has notched 52 goals in just 89 Premier League appearances for the club, which is some tally indeed. These goals were absolutely vital in their title win last season. Meanwhile, this season, Chelsea have invested in Alvaro Morata to come up with the goods. So far, he has done reasonably well, scoring three goals and notching two assists. Notably, team-mate and fellow striker Michy Batshuayi has scored four goals. As a result, they are third in the Premier League, with only the two Manchester clubs besting them in the number of goals scored. Although the gap is still vast (Both Manchester United and Manchester City have scored 16 goals, whilst Chelsea have eight goals), this is still a decent record for only five matches played.

It appears that so far, Chelsea appear to be adapting to life without Costa. However, later in the season, with injuries striking and suspensions looming, Chelsea may miss having a striker of Costa’s calibre to call on. In fact, only two acknowledged senior strikers remain. Manager Antonio Conte could be taking a gamble with his squad depth with this move.

Controversial Character

The transfer may well help to ease dressing room woes. Costa does cut a controversial character at the best of times, both on and on the pitch. In a match, he riles the opposition but often loses his own head. His game often relies on the ‘mind games’ he plays with defenders, but in doing so runs along a thin line of the laws of the game. But, he has also had heated arguments with his own players on the pitch and appears to have completely fallen out with manager Conte. After all, the striker was notified by text message that he was clearly not in the manager’s plans at the start of the season.

Therefore, the transfer of Costa to Atletico Madrid may help to restore some control over the squad. Any sustained period of success requires some kind of internal stability within Chelsea football club. All too recently, Conte has been seemingly following ex-manager Jose Mourinho’s footsteps in falling out with the players. But, with one of the main instigators of conflict shipped out, both manager and players can reconcile with one another.

Verdict

In financial terms alone, Chelsea have gathered around £58m for a 28-year-old, after signing him for a reported £32m back in 2014. This seems wise business, allowing for such funds to be reinvested in the squad. Ideally, spending this net profit could bolster the dwindling depth in attack. Elsewhere, this move is important in reducing friction between manager and players and for removing a potentially dangerous wildcard from the team.

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