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.
Many asks if Diego Costa to Chelsea is true. Guys, I gave the news on early march. Search for it. Done and dusted since 2 months— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 14, 2014
Jose Mourinho has further added fuel to the speculation, confirming Chelsea is in the transfer market for a striker, via ESPN's Miguel Delaney:
Mourinho on Diego Costa signing: "Chelsea will be quite quiet in summer. We are going to do some critical signings. A striker? Yes."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 2, 2014
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:
Diego Costa has scored the same amount of league goals this season (27) as Chelsea's F.Torres, S. Eto'o, D. Ba and A. Schurrle combined.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 12, 2014
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:
sides around Costa and his predecessor Falcao, showing impressive tactical versatility and flexibility in the process. Costa boasts (2/4)— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) May 14, 2014
boasts impressive size, speed and aggression, and i'd estimate 75% of chances that fall his way are engineered by himself. (3/5)— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) May 14, 2014
He is not reliant on a super-creative midfield to do the work for him, á la Falcao; he sniffs out chances on his own and finishes (4/5)— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) May 14, 2014
them aptly. That's transferrable to any club in the world, including Chelsea. (5/5)— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) May 14, 2014
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.