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Can Alvaro Morata surpass Diego Costa at Chelsea?

Wednesday 27th September 2017
Chelsea has a new poster boy spearheading their attack – a young Spanish international who's started his Blues career in emphatic fashion. Alvaro Morata is firing on all cylinders, but the former Madridsta is still a long way from achieving what his fellow countryman achieved at SW6.

In the past six years, Chelsea has spent no less than £140 million on Spanish number 9s. In 2011, they broke the bank to sign Fernando Torres for a then British record, £50 million. After trying in futility to get him back to his best, they let the former Liverpool striker go and replaced him with another Spaniard. This time, Diego Costa was brought in from Torres's boyhood club, Atletico Madrid.
The story of Diego Costa at Chelsea is a long one. Although he only spent three seasons at Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian-born Spaniard made quite a remarkable impression. In each of those three seasons, Costa finished as the club's highest goalscorer; a testament to the prolific number 9 the club sort for and lacked in Torres. Costa took the Premier League by the scruff of the neck, playing it like he was born to. His goals against top sides like Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United elucidated a striker who showed up in the big games.

In his three years at Chelsea, Costa featured under two different managers. He won the Premier League title, twice, and the League Cup. His 59 goals in 120 games for the Blues makes him, by a long shot, the most successful Spanish striker the club ever had.

The watershed for Costa's glittering Chelsea career came in January 2017. The 28-year-old became an interest of Chinese club, Tianjin Quajin. Rumours started flying that an offer in the region of £30 million per year had been made to Costa. Perhaps it turned the striker's head, perhaps it didn't or there wasn't any offer at all, as Quajin would like to claim. The bottom-line is, in January, there was a major fallout between Costa and Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte.

At that point, Conte had resolved he wasn't going to include Costa in his plans for the coming season. The text message saga followed, and the Chelsea star was exiled. That brought an end to Diego Costa's Chelsea stint.

Next up, Alvaro Morata. Also Spanish, much younger than Costa, he was deemed an adequate replacement for his international teammate, despite being an understudy to Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. Chelsea paid heavily for Morata, breaking their transfer record in the process. They then handed him the number nine shirt, once associated to a certain Fernando Torres.

Much unlike the brutish, quick-tempered Costa, Morata's cool-headed demeanour is already endearing him to the Chelsea fans. He's also putting in good performances to go with that gentleman look. No need to be arrogant, unruly and full of shenanigans to score goals - Morata is a sharp contrast to the man who went before him.

Can Alvaro Morata do better than Costa?

Six games in, six goals scored, one hat-trick, two assists; Alvaro Morata has made a blistering start to his Chelsea career. Costa almost seems like a distant memory. But the fact remains, Costa's antecedents are far from being eroded just yet.
Costa was pretty successful during his time in England. Last season he scored 20 Premier League goals, which won Chelsea 15 points as they raced to the Premier League title. He also did similar in the 2014-15 season.

Alvaro Morata has started his Chelsea career in the best possible way. Still, he has a mountain to climb if he is to surpass Diego Costa. For now, his predecessor remains everything he hopes to become.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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