Diego Costa came to Chelsea with a reputation as a top striker, albeit one with suspect hamstrings. People questioned whether it was wise to spend £32 million on the forward, given his injury record. Their worries looked to be misplaced after he blitzed the first half of the season with goals, looking easily the most dominant forward in the league.
In 2015 though things have been less impressive with him scoring just 9 goals in 2015 in the Premier League, compared to 13 in the months of August to December 2014. The slow down in his form cannot be over-stated and it is hugely linked to his fitness. This season two goals in 10 games domestically is a major concern.
Yet again against Stoke he was dismal. Short of ideas and a frustrating presence. He appears to have lost a yard of pace and gone backwards. Chelsea have as a result been a lot less impressive going forward, boasting one of the worst attacking records in the Premier League this season.
Chelsea are effectively strikerless. Radamel Falcao was an awful signing. The club must take blame for that. They allowed Chelsea to go into the new season without one fit striker. Loic Remy is also very injury prone and isn’t a like for like option. Chelsea needed someone to put pressure on Costa and to be able to stay fit, step in for him and even compliment him at times. Christian Benteke was a possible option, but instead they ended up with worse options than last year, when they had the 36 year old Didier Drogba.
The striking issue is back for Chelsea. It wasn’t solved by Costa, it was arguably exacerbated by him. He’s a very good forward on his day, one of the best in the world, but his day hasn’t come this season. He’s been frustrating and anonymous up front. Chelsea are struggling because of this, they don’t look like they’re going to be scoring goals. It’s not entirely his fault, alot of it is to do with a drop in form for Cesc and Hazard. The club must also take a lot of blame for not bringing in reinforcements.