Diego Costa has not had the prolific start to the Premier League season that some may expected, though the Chelsea striker was on target in the 3-2 victory over West Brom on Sunday to open his account for the 2015/16 campaign.
An aggressive and physical striker at the best of times, Costa has already taken the fight to defenders across the Premier League. But could it be true that the Brazil-born Spain international is unhappy at Stamford Bridge?
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Costa met Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Ángel Gil in Ibiza during the summer by chance, where he informed his former boss that he would love to return to the Vicente Calderon.
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
1/22 West Brom: Myhill
The goalkeeper conceded three goals, but was let down by his defence. 6
A central defender by trade but playing at right back, he struggled to cope with Hazard’s pace but got involved with West Brom’s attacks when he could. 5
Costa got the better of the Northern Ireland international time and time again, and after the centre-back had lost his battle with the striker, it allowed Costa to set up Azpilicueta for Chelsea’s third. 4
The Sweden international couldn’t deal with the pace of Pedro in the build-up to the winger’s opening goal. 4
The left winger, who has been used at left back under Pulis, came close to equalising with a late shot that went high but he was exploited by Pedro throughout the game. 4
It was his run forwards that allowed Willian to get in behind him and set up Costa for his goal. Was lacking in pace in opener as Willian got past him to make it 2-0. 5
The winger’s pace caused Azpilicueta all sorts of problems and after skipping past the left-back, he was brought down by Matic for the penalty. He also provided the cross for Morrison’s second goal. 7
West Brom’s longest-serving player made up for his missed penalty by scoring twice in what was a positive showing for the midfielder. 8
Worked hard in midfield to combat Fabregas’ influence but failed to fully protect his back line. 5
Was dangerous for West Brom and it was his good work that allowed him to get past Ivanovic and create Morrison’s second goal. 6
Looked sharp on his debut and it was his overhead kick that set up Morrison for his goal. Didn’t get on the scoresheet but was a threat up front for the home side. 7
12/22 Chelsea: Courtois
Remained calm in goal despite the end-to-end nature of the match, saving Morrison's early penalty before making several late saves to ensure the win. 7
Did better on the right flank than against Manchester City last week, but Chelsea’s vice-captain was beaten too easily by McClean for West Brom’s first goal before McManaman got the better of him for the home side’s second. 4
Provided strength in central defence and made some good early tackles. 6
After being the subject of headlines following his substitution against City, the Chelsea skipper let himself down when he saw red for failing to keep up with Rondon before pulling the striker back while he was through on goal. 4
Helped restore Chelsea’s two-goal lead with his strike just before the break, but was beaten too easily by McManaman in the lead-up to West Brom’s penalty as he struggled with his defensive duties. 7
It was the Spaniard’s lofty pass that instigated the move that led to Azpilicueta’s goal, and the midfielder continued providing accurate passes to help build-up Chelsea’s attacks as the game went on. 7
Clumsily brought down McManaman to give away the penalty but was let off the hook when Courtois saved the resulting spot-kick. He didn’t look as strong in midfield as usual, and couldn’t contend with Morrison’s strength for West Brom’s second goal. 5
Made a great run on the counter to set up Chelsea’s second goal and should have scored just before the break but drove high. Another good performance with a high work rate against West Brom. 7
The Belgian looked back to his best against West Brom as he set up Pedro for the opener and used his pace to cause the home side’s defence problems. 7
Chelsea’s man of the match. The winger seemed at ease on his Premier League debut scoring a goal and setting up Diego Costa’s strike. His pace on the right and his superb crosses will prove dangerous for Chelsea this season. 8
His goal was the icing on the cake for the striker, who enjoyed a very good performance up front. Costa looked dangerous throughout and really should have bagged a brace in the second half but drove high with time and space. 8
The report goes on to add that Costa has informed the entire Atletico Madrid squad that he wants a move back to Spain, triggering Gil to make contact with Costa’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
The so-called ‘super-agent’, who is also responsible for Radamel Falcao, David De Gea and Jose Mourinho among others, made it clear that Costa would not be leaving Chelsea and that the Premier League champions have no intention of selling the striker.
Furthermore, Atletico had already begun the early stages of signing both Luciano Vietto and Jackson Martinez and head coach Diego Simeone was not interested in adding a third striker of the summer given that Fernando Torres was already on the books following his return from AC Milan last season.
Despite the claims that the 26-year-old may want a move back to the continent, the arrival of new £21.1m signing Pedro from Barcelona could go a long way to keeping Costa at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old arrived last week and made an instant impact in scoring the opener against West Brom, before laying on the assist for Costa’s effort despite clearly going for goal himself.
If the pair – along with midfielder Cesc Fabregas – can go on to strike up a strong understanding for both club and country, it would be difficult to see Costa leave anytime soon, especially with the emphasis at the club on winning the Champions League to appease manager Jose Mourinho’s desire to win it with the Blues.
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