Bridge Banter: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho must not let rotten World Cup dent confidence in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa
Jose Mourinho insists that striker Diego Costa will come to Stamford Bridge this summer and is confident that a deal will be struck with his club, Atletico Madrid, very soon.
The 25-year-old netted 36 goals in all competitions last season to help Atletico win the Spanish League and reach the Champions League final, beating the Blues along the way.
But many Chelsea fans will have seen Costa’s woeful performances for Spain in the World Cup, in which the world champions crashed out in miserable style on Wednesday night with no points and no goals from open play.
It was always going to be difficult for Costa, a Brazilian-born player who chose to play for his adopted country Spain: unsurprisingly he was booed by fans with almost every touch of the ball in both games.
He is also yet to score in international football, having appeared briefly in two friendlies for Spain before this competition.
So, you may ask, do we really want Roman Abramovich to spend £25m+ on a striker who has had such a cruel summer?
In a previous Bridge Banter I argued that Mourinho must either build the team around Fernando Torres or finally find a striker who can replicate what Didier Drogba did so well: bully defenders physically and create space for attacking midfielders.
The signing of Cesc Fabregas to replace Frank Lampard has effectively made the case even stronger to find a more physical striker – a steel- armoured SUV rather than a Porsche Boxster.
Why Atletico were so effective was having a well-drilled midfield who passed the ball well, but were able to put pressure on opponents thanks to clever passing, clever runs and centre backs being pulled apart by Costa.
Torres is still an option to come on as an impact sub, but Chelsea’s plan A must include a proven goalscorer who might just be looking for a fresh start after a tough finish to an otherwise great season.
Tim Harrison is on holiday.
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