Having been signed as a hot prospect in the summer of 2014 from Atletico Madrid and a five-year contract offered by Chelsea, Diego da Silva Costa lit up the premier league in his maiden season, firing the blues to the premier league glory as their chief protagonist for goal scoring. Though his second spell with the north London Pensioners ended in a disarray as the team surrendered their title to little known Leicester city and finished at a disappointing position ten, he still managed to score at least ten goals for the club.
Costa’s third season at Chelsea yielded fruits as he again fired the Roman Abramovich owned team to its second premier league title in three years under the new management of former Juventus and Italy international turned coach Antonio Conte. It was in the middle of this season (2016-2017) season that rumours started creeping in of the player being wanted by Chinese teams. The club management, coach and even the player himself denied such reports.
However, it was confirmed that despite the player being Antonio Conte’s main forward, he was unhappy at the London based club and dreamt of returning to Madrid, where he described as being ‘home’. He cited language barrier, climate, foodstuffs among others as the major reasons why he preferred to depart from the team, and pundits termed it as a matter of time before the club would release him.
Despite helping to fire the Blues to the Premier League title last season, the Spain international was immediately deemed surplus to requirements by Antonio Conte who went ahead and signed Spanish and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. With the arrival of Alvaro it was assumed that the club was already preparing for the post-Costa era and with leaked information about the fallout between first team coach Conte and Costa himself, the player returned to his native Brazil to train alone, a decision widely seen as if he was desperately trying to force a transfer back to Madrid.
In as much he wanted to move back to Madrid, the decision was seen and laughed off by many former and current stars who knew that it would be impossible since the club (Atletico Madrid) was still under FIFA trabsfer ban to buy players. With no deal in the offing at this stage and the transfer window closed, Chelsea has taken the decision to include Costa within their ranks for the next phase of Premier League competition.
Squad lists had to be completed on last Friday, with the Premier League confirming the selections on their official website. Despite being included in the 25 man list for premier league, the player has however being omitted by the club in their UEFA Champions league squad, which kicks off on the 12th September 2017.
It now remains to be seen what the immediate future holds for Costa, who announced in August that he would not be returning to London as his transfer stand-off dragged on and with the world cup in Russia the following summer, all is left to the player to either reconcile with the Chelsea hierarchy and coach or to carry on with his threat and ruin his footballing career. Only time will tell.
Stamford Bridge reporter