Premier League

Chelsea Right To Sell Diego Costa And End Transfer Saga

 • by Simon Collings
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After a summer of speculation, the Diego Costa saga is finally at an end.

Chelsea have agreed to sell the troublesome striker to his old club Atlético Mardid, with the Spain international initially joining on loan in January ahead of a £57m move next summer.

It brings to an end one of the longest and strangest transfer sagas of the most recent transfer window.

At the start of the summer it was revealed Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had text Costa to tell him he was no longer part of his plans and from there things went down hill.

Costa refused to return to England for pre-season training and instead pictures of him relaxing in Brazil emerged.

In total the 28-year-old was AWOL for 11 weeks, during which time he was even spotted riding around on a jet ski with his dog.

Now though, all the drama and mayhem has finally ceased and with the dust settling former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko believes it is a good deal for all parties.

“I think that is the life of players,” he said.

“He deserved to leave the club and he did a great job. He was a competitor. He is a winner, he is a fantastic guy.

“He did a great job for Chelsea. He has been honest for the club. It was his motivation to leave the club and his club let him go.

“Now I wish him all the best in Atletico Madrid and he can win a lot of trophies with Atletico. His performances for Chelsea have been incredible.”

Shevchenko’s assessment of Costa’s time at Chelsea is certainly valid when you look back over his career in England.

Since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2014, Costa has proven that he is one of the best strikers in Europe.

During his first season he helped the Blues to the Premier League title, scoring an impressive 20 league goals in the process.

The Spain international was bullish and physical. Indeed, he was near enough perfect for the Premier League.

Like the rest of the Chelsea team his performances dipped during the 2015/16 campaign, but following Conte’s arrival he was reborn.

Even the pair’s infamous fallout in January over a lucrative offer from China couldn’t stop Costa scoring 20 league goals again.

All together, he leaves England with over 50 Premier League goals in three seasons.

His replacement, Álvaro Morata, certainly has a lot to live up to given Costa’s displays.

Having come to Chelsea and struggled, Shevchenko knows just how hard it can be for a player to adapt.

However, he does not envisage his old club’s new star striker struggling to cut it in England.

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“I think you can’t compare two players – Morata and Diego Costa,” said Shevchenko.

“They are very different players. But his adaption to Chelsea has been fantastic. He is playing great, he is scoring goals.

“His chemistry with his team-mates is incredible. Antonio Conte knows what kind of player he has signed, I am sure the club also knows.

“The club always has the maximum motivation to win everything and Morata is probably the right player.”

Even with Morata’s arrival, it is worth sparing a penny for Conte’s thoughts.

Despite all the drama and struggles, he has lost his best striker and replacing his goals will take some doing.

One man who can shed some light on what the Italian is going through is Roberto Di Matteo, who managed Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012.

Like Shevchenko, he believes it was the right time for his old club to cut the cord on Costa.

The player wanted to go, Chelsea managed to double their money from when they bought him for and a replacement has already been signed. Life goes on.

“Well I think there was a decision made in the summer to move on and I think they signed a replacement,” said Di Matteo.

“I think the player wanted to leave and he has gone now. It seems like they found the right solution for everybody to be pleased.

“I don’t know what is going on in the background. I am not able to comment on that. This looks like the end of it.

“He wants to go back to Atlético, he had a great time there – maybe he feels more at home there? Who knows? I don’t know.

“He was a tremendous player for Chelsea, he did extremely well, but some love stories come to an end.”

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