Chelsea strikers whose feats, whose legends, are written in Stamford Bridge folklore.
Instead, Diego Costa flew to Madrid ultimate night time having forged a shadow over his glory years on the membership.
He will nonetheless have his position in Chelsea historical past in fact, and plenty of enthusiasts will nonetheless love him for the snarling aggression that terrified defences for the most efficient a part of two seasons, the gunslinger aggro that led Chelsea to 2 Premier League titles. The sheer power and keenness that Costa dropped at his soccer, the willingness to spill blood for the motive – even supposing it was once most commonly other folks’s blood – gained many hearts at the terraces.
But he could have stayed, could have become a legend like Tambling, whose 202 objectives stood as a file for see you later. Like Osgood, nonetheless regaled because the King of the Bridge, like Dixon, who led the road for see you later within the laborious occasions, like Drogba, whose sheer presence nearly on my own gained the Champions League in 2012.
A unstable, explosive personality who may also be good, baffling, steadily infuriating, and every so often simple daft, Costa won’t ever be remembered so fondly at Stamford Bridge, even supposing he’ll move down as considered one of their maximum a hit strikers, with 59 objectives in 120 video games, two titles and a League Cup, and various reminiscences.
Chelsea will select up a overall of £67million – £60m plus add-ons – for a participant that supervisor Antonio Conte had lengthy made up our minds he didn’t need any place close to his squad, and had informed him so in January.
Costa has were given the transfer he all the time sought after. And Atletico? Well, they have were given a severely out-of-shape striker who can’t play for them till the Copa Del Rey in January, for nearly double the price they were given from Chelsea in the summertime of 2014. He was once a hero for them first time spherical and has simplest ever in reality sought after to play for them.
So the stand-off between Costa and Chelsea is over, after seven lengthy and fractious weeks. The membership in the end gave up their calls for that he go back to coaching, get himself have compatibility and make himself to be had for variety, once they were given the associated fee they sought after – crucially, greater than they paid for his alternative Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, simply prior to closing date day.
It is excellent trade for Chelsea, who additionally picked up a cool £60m for Oscar, any other participant they didn’t need, again in December. The membership have lengthy been professionals in chiselling giant charges out of golf equipment for gamers, even supposing they spend giant too.
So in the end, the saga is over, Diego has left his house the city of Lagarto in northern Brazil, the place he has been keeping out all summer season, running with a private instructor. But the place he was once additionally photographed partying in a bar in an Atletico blouse.
Back in the summertime of 2014, Costa was once the one striker Jose Mourinho sought after to give you the the most important leading edge to a staff stuffed with title-winning possible, and the executive moved early that summer season to get his guy along the supplier, Cesc Fabregas. It was once, for a whilst, a dream mixture.
Costa scored on his debut at Burnley, were given booked as smartly, and the rollercoaster was once on its approach. Twenty league objectives later – oh, and 10 yellow playing cards and a three-game ban for stamping – the identify was once gained. Costa was once a hero, even supposing the objectives considerably tailed off after the New Year.
The following season it all went bitter as Mourinho fell out together with his gamers and was once sacked prior to Christmas. Costa – banned two times – simplest perceived to serve as as soon as Mourinho had long past, and was once suspected as being one of the vital “rats” Mourinho referred to that pressured him out.
In got here Conte, who persuaded Costa to stick ultimate summer season when a go back to Atletico appeared positive. The Italian perceived to have solved the Diego drawback, because the objectives began to glide once more. Enough, certainly to clinch any other identify.
But in January got here the explosion as Costa was once denied a £90m transfer to Chinese Super League membership Tianjin Quanjian. Conte talked him into staying and once more the identify was once gained, but then got here the infamous summer season textual content which informed Costa he was once now not sought after – and the stand-off started.
It ended ultimate night time, and a fractious but every so often good duration of Chelsea historical past was once over. But a legend? Not relatively.