Diego Costa Is Exactly What Chelsea Needs for Return to Top of Premier League

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 14, 2014

Paul White/Associated Press

The last time Chelsea hoisted the Premier League trophy came at the end of the 2009-10 campaign. Not coincidentally, that was the same season it last had a player win the Premier League Golden Boot. 

Didier Drogba found the back of the net a league-leading 29 times that season, and Chelsea has failed to find a consistent force up front ever since. 

The following season, Florent Malouda led the club with 13 Premier League goals. Frank Lampard tied Daniel Sturridge with 11 in 2011-12 before netting a squad-topping 15 in 2012-13. This campaign, Eden Hazard was on top with 14. 

While Chelsea's depth and constant excess of playmaking talent in the midfield has been a large explanation for that particular distribution of goals, having a true poacher up front is undoubtedly something the Blues have lacked over the past several seasons. 

Diego Costa would immediately change that. 

Nothing is yet official, but Sky Sports has reported the deal to send the Atletico Madrid striker to Stamford Bridge is all but done, while Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports confirmed the rumor: 

Paul White/Associated Press

Jose Mourinho has further added fuel to the speculation, confirming Chelsea is in the transfer market for a striker, via ESPN's Miguel Delaney:

The Brazilian-born Spanish international has been transcendent this season for Atletico Madrid, who have an opportunity to be crowned champions in both Spain and Europe in the next 10 days. 

In 42 appearances across La Liga and Champions League play, the 25-year-old has poured in 35 goals on a brutally efficient 137 shots, via WhoScored.com.  He has also won 1.3 aerial duels and drawn 3.2 fouls per match.

As Squawka Football noted, his in-league production has matched Chelsea's entire group of forwards:

Different leagues, obviously, but that's an amazing feat nonetheless, and with the 6'2" Costa's blend of size, strength and speed, there's no question he could transfer that success to England. 

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe further touched on that:

Romelu Lukaku, coming off another successful loan, could certainly be in Mourinho's future plans, but Costa's ability to clear out space around the ball and finish efficiently around the net is at another level. 

If you put him in front of Chelsea's playmaking midfield, you suddenly have an extremely dangerous attack to go with a defense that allowed a league-low 27 goals in 2013-14.  

You also have a favorite to knock Manchester City from the perch of the Premier League table.