Diego Costa returns to Chelsea with Wolves on Saturday looking to return to Premier League years | Football news

Diego Costa was ready for a fight as soon as he walked in the door at Chelsea.

It was pre-season ahead of the 2014/15 Premier League campaign and while the rest of the Blues were sitting down to their meals, their new striker – signed from Atletico Madrid – was standing in the middle of the room wearing punching gloves. boxing, taking on gear man Billy McCollough in a light-hearted duel.

McCollough fell to the ground under pressure from the Spain-Brazil forward, no one 100% sure if Costa was joking or really wanted to win the fight.

“I knew we were going to win the league then,” said then-Chelsea captain John Terry years later. The defender will be right.

Diego Costa helped Chelsea win two league titles, being the top scorer in both seasons
Costa helped Chelsea win two league titles, being the top scorer in both seasons

During his three years at Stamford Bridge, and at a club where strikers have struggled to make their mark in history, Costa has won two Premier League championship medals and scored 59 goals in 120 games, but also has a clear reputation: loved by Chelsea, hated by the rest.

But everything will change when Costa travels to Chelsea to visit Wolves on Saturday.

Over the years, Chelsea have struggled to find a reliable striker in the post-Didier Drogba era. Romelu Lukaku has twice broken the whip and failed, while the likes of Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Torres and Timo Werner have all struggled to live with the hype before their Stamford Bridge careers. .

Football journalist Tim Vickery believes Diego Costa will provide a good short-term solution to the striker shortage at Wolves.
Costa has established a clear reputation in England: loved by Chelsea, hated by everyone else

No striker has had as fast an impact on Chelsea life as Costa during his three-year stint in west London between 2014 and 2017. And again, there weren’t many strikers around like him. .

Besides Chelsea’s 59 goals, there are also 31 yellow cards – that tells you a lot to know about the striker. Costa tried to use the ball to tear through defenders without the ball – then beat them.

This tactic works quite often, especially against the right kind of opposition. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal is an example of a team that can’t resist nibbling on anything Costa has to offer.

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A look back at some of Costa’s best Premier League goals for Chelsea

In the 2015/16 season, Costa was successful in getting Arsenal players sent off in both league matches. Both came under different circumstances. The first saw him head-to-head Gabriel Paulista – with the defender sent off for violent behavior for a kick to Costa, who gave the team a 2-0 home win.

Then, in the second leg at the Emirates, Costa displayed outstanding forward movement that got Per Mertesacker sent off for a technical foul. Costa then made a similar move to score the winning goal that evening in a 1–0 win.

Other teams feel it too. Even the Wolves team-mates he currently plays with are uncertain about the kind of atmosphere he will bring before signing for the Molineux club this fall.

“In the past, I thought he was not a technical player and just wanted to fight,” said Wolves attacker Daniel Podence. Sky Sports News this week. “But now that he’s here, it’s unbelievable to see how well he plays, with his feet and still fighting for the ball.

Diego Costa debuts Wolves vs West Ham at London Stadium
Costa makes his Wolves vs West Ham debut at London Stadium

“Now I can understand how he scored so many goals and won so many trophies at Atletico and Chelsea. Playing with him would be good for both of us, so I’m very happy. I need someone who can fight because I think we lacked the determination and victory in duels.”

Now Wolves are embracing what this front can bring. Before being sacked this week, Bruno Lage revealed the first thing Costa said to him after signing for the club: “I’m a very nice guy off the pitch, but I’m very upset inside in the field.”

Ahead of Chelsea’s trip, Wolves’ interim coach Steve Davis said Costa has a lot of “hot blood” in him.

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Wolves caretaker manager Steve Davis pays tribute to Costa

At 34 years old, Costa is clearly not the striker who dominated the Premier League defence back in the mid-2010s. But his half-hour guest for Wolves away from West Ham on Saturday night football Last week there were signs that some aspects of his game are still intact in terms of quality and technique.

Although the London Stadium clash was his first in 11 months, Costa always put himself in the center of the action, engaging West Ham defenders and linking up well with teammates. his.

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WATCH FREE: Highlights from West Ham’s win over Wolves in the Premier League.

He made eight completed passes on the final third in that 30-minute period. Had he played from the start of the season at that rate, only one player – Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez – could have managed more all season.

There are promising personal moments in the final third. Costa thought to set up Podence to score in the 2-0 defeat but was called offside by VAR. The Wolves forward would have been on the scoresheet if he had headed in his own box on target instead of wide when Lukasz Fabianksi was stuck. A sharper Costa with more minutes of underpowered play could solve that problem.

But a reminder that technical ability is only one part of Costa’s game that Chelsea may need to be wary of going into Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge. Blues defender Thiago Silva – who is likely to replace Costa in west London – knows that better than most.

Costa is likely to meet Thiago Silva (right) this weekend
Costa could face Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge

“I played with Diego Costa once for the Brazilian national team. He’s a very good boy off the pitch. He makes you laugh,” Silva said in 2017 before the PSG side took on Costa’s Chelsea.

“But, on the pitch, it’s difficult. If you talk to him, you lose focus on the game. That’s why I let him talk to himself. You get the impression. that he’s just a madman talking to himself.”

Costa may be a small shadow of the man who began his Premier League career at Chelsea eight years ago, but the fight in the dog never abated.


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