Chelsea had the ultimate so near, yet so far campaign last season, coming agonisingly close to both Premier League and Champions League glory.
Costly errors at vital times and a lack of scoring power kept the Blues from claiming the silverware that fans have become accustomed to, but it seems that manager Jose Mourinho has found the solution.
La Liga champions Atletico Madrid enjoyed unprecedented success last term, and the Portuguese manager is looking to take more than just a leaf from their book.
Though Atletico striker Diego Costa’s transfer has been concrete for some time, the club officially made the announcement of his arrival on Tuesday, via their website.
Chelsea revealed that the 25-year-old has penned a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and will join up with the first team next week for their pre-season European training camp.
Costa, who netted 27 La Liga goals last season, according to WhoScored.com, told the club’s website that he’s over the moon to be a Blue: “I am very happy to sign for Chelsea. Everybody knows it is a big club in a very competitive league, and I am very excited to get started in England with a fantastic coach and team-mates. Having played against Chelsea last season I know the high quality of the squad I am joining.”
Though Chelsea fans will hardly have been encouraged by Costa’s form for Spain in the World Cup, the fact remains that he’s a lethal striker at the very top of his game.
That frontman formula hasn’t exactly been successful for the Blues in recent years—take Fernando Torres and Andriy Shevchenko for example—but the latter thinks it’ll be a different story with Costa, as he told Steve Morgan of the Daily Star: “The expectations from the fans and the club are very big so he needs to score and get going. I’m sure he will do well. I think he is a good striker and I like him.”
Shevchenko isn’t wrong, either, as Costa proved for Atletico Madrid last season that he can more than cut it at the highest level; his performances against the Blues in the Champions League semi-final legs spring to mind.
Costa tormented Chelsea’s defence in the second leg at Stamford Bridge, scoring from the penalty spot on a famous night for the Madrid outfit.
Also celebrating that night was left-back Filipe Luis, who handled everything that Chelsea’s exciting attacking line could throw at him.
It’s no surprise to see Mourinho hunting the 28-year-old’s signature, but the transfer saga has been rather exhausting to say the least.
Harvey reports that the two clubs have now reached an agreement of £20 million, thought to be the buyout clause in Luis’ contract.
The Brazilian has seen his relationship break down with Atletico recently amid talk of him leaving the club, but with the Spanish champions landing replacement Guilherme Siqueira, Luis is now free to go; Atletico revealed the signing via Twitter:
With Ashley Cole leaving the club, a new left-back era is set to get underway at Stamford Bridge, and Mourinho believes that Luis is the man for the job.
Though he’s hardly a long-term solution for the Blues at 28, Luis has all the credentials of a top-quality full-back: he’s got pace, composure and doesn’t let his attacking prowess get in the way of his defensive duties.
Costa and Luis played a major part in Atletico’s success last term, and should the left-back make the switch, they’ll both look to emulate their fabulous La Liga season in the Premier League.
By adding a proven goalscorer at the highest level and a full-back in his prime, you have to ask, what’s going to stop the Blues?