It all started in 2004 when Chelsea signed Mateja Kežman who just had a stellar season at PSV Eindhoven among other stellar ones. He had scored 38 goals in 40 games for the Dutch outfit alongside Arjen Robben, the pair were hailed as ‘Batman and Robben’ in the Dutch Eredivisie. But a £5.3m move to Chelsea changed dynamics of things.
Kežman, once a goal machine in Holland, scored just 4 goals in 25 league games and 7 goals overall in a total of 40 appearances. Chelsea won the league that season but despite that, the quality in attack was too much for Kežman’s misfortunes to affect the season. Kežman left for Atlético Madrid the next season for the same fee he was bought by Chelsea from PSV.
Then in 2006, Chelsea stepped the price a lot higher, this time it was world class forward, Andriy Shevchenko, bought for a record breaking £30m (at the time) and expectations were high on what ‘Shevy’ might bring to the premier league, however, he scored just 9 league goals in 2 seasons for the club, 14 overall in his first season and 8 in the next one proved the legendary striker to be a Chelsea flop.
And then, the most recent and infamous of all, we stepped it up to £50m in January 2011, when the club was in a bad slump and decided to sign Fernando Torres which is still the most expensive transfer in British history. Torres…well, hasn’t lived up to any of the expectations we had hoped for and to be honest no fan really has expectations on him at this point but what is worse is when you have no expectations on all your strikers and that was the case last season.
Didier Drogba’s departure has since left Chelsea with a Fernando Torres well past his peak inconsistently leading the line of attack, Romelu Lukaku was deemed too young to play and has been loaned time after time in search of ‘experience’ while Demba Ba was brought in to help things, but it turns out he wasn’t the quality we thought he was and Samuel Eto’o was acquired last summer to help patch things up, but with just 9 goals in the league by the Cameroonian and 5 each for the mediocre pair of Ba and Torres, the reality was still inevitable, Chelsea were only within touching distance of silverware but not winning any.
Moving on to this season, it seems José has finally reintroduced someone who is certainly going to lead the line next season, Diego Costa is the man, for a fee of £32m from Atlético Madrid and lots of Chelsea fans are excited but also putting hands together and hoping he doesn’t end up as the cases above.
Costa is no one season wonder, he grabbed the attention of a few when he went to Rayo Vallecano on loan from Atlético to score 10 goals in the league and 20 overall, alongside Michu who is now at Swansea. He returned to Atlético and continued to do well, but not to the point of outshining world class striker, Radamel Falcao but then Falcao left and suddenly Costa had gotten his break. He didn’t just grab the opportunity he also grabbed the attention of big clubs around the world.
Some of Diego Costa’s Stats
Costa finished his season with Atlético with 36 goals in all competitions, 27 of which were in the league after a total of 108 shots and with the best shots per goal among the top number 9s in Europe’s top leagues, an incredible 4.0 shots per goal, followed quite closely by Mario Mandžukić at 4.22.Ba had the best of the Chelsea strikers with 6.20 shots per goal but with the worst number of shots 31 and Torres had 61 the highest number of shots but his shots per goal rate was the lowest at 12.20. Lukaku had a total of 98 shots with a 6.53 shots per goal conversion.
Costa also suffered the most fouls in all of Europe’s top leagues, a bizarre or maybe amusing number of 116 the closest was Robert Lewandowki at 96, Torres suffered the most fouls (26) among the Chelsea strikers.
Diego Costa had better dribbles per game and key passes than all four of Chelsea’s strikers, Lukaku included, at 1.71 and 1.29 respectively. Luis Suarez had the highest of both in all of Europe with 2.82 and 2.64. Costa also had just 3 assists and the worst offside record at 50; once again the stats are domestically.
There’s actually no real certainty that Diego Costa would not flop in a Chelsea kit, but the evidence that proves he won’t seem to outweigh the ones that say he would (whatever they are), Costa seems to be reaching his peak or at it already and his game play denies him not having any impact on a game. Costa isn’t or doesn’t seem like the quiet type on the field like Kezman, Shevy…or Torres, he seems to relish a superb battle against oppositions…dare I say a ‘Suarez/Tevez type’ of forward, with a superb work ethic and agility.
He is also one to watch for the ‘boo boys’, as he is extremely controversial with a couple of disciplinary issues especially in heated/rivalry clashes. (Not as bad as Cassano, Balotelli or Suarez…) but certainly up there with a number of others.
While we welcome him to Chelsea we can only hope and pray he has a good first season with us and many more stellar ones, and would be remembered for all the right reasons like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Didier Drogba and not the wrong ones, like Adrian Mutu…or what’s even worse, not being remembered at all, like…Claudio Pizarro.