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Diego Costa is returning to his best

Wednesday 7th September 2016
Diego Costa was superb for Chelsea in his first season at the club, but over the last 12 months, he's suffered a drastic loss of form. However, he's begun this season impressively for both Chelsea and Spain.
This summer, Costa was linked with a move back to his former club Atletico Madrid, but instead, he remained at Chelsea. Costa recently told Movistar plus 'I wished I could go back to Atletico, I'm not going to lie. I had the chance to go back but I couldn't, because of a few details. I'm grateful to the people at Atletico, to Cholo [Simeone] especially, who has always put his confidence in me'.

After last season's disappointing performances, Costa came in for a fair amount of criticism, and it was felt that his time in London was coming to an end. However, new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was desperate to keep his main striker at the club; Conte has placed his trust in Costa at the beginning of this campaign, and both men will be happy with the results it's produced up to now.

Costa arrived at Stamford Bridge two seasons ago from Atletico Madrid. He joined Chelsea after having an outstanding season in Spain: he scored 36 times in 52 appearances in all competitions, Atletico reached the Champions League final, and Costa appeared in the Champions League and La Liga teams of the season.
In Costa's first season in the Premier League, he played a key role in Chelsea's title triumph: the Spanish striker scored 20 times to help his side finish top of the table. Costa's presence up front was too much for defences to deal with: Costa perfectly combined his physicality with his technical ability, and over the course of the season, he proved that he was one of the best strikers in English football.

It was an altogether different story last season, as both Chelsea and Costa struggled to find their best form, which resulted in Jose Mourinho losing his job, and Chelsea finishing the campaign in tenth place. Chelsea's sudden fall from grace was unpredictable, as was the demise of Costa, and both club and player received a great deal of criticism.

In a short space of time, Costa had gone from being one of the deadliest goalscorers in Europe to appearing out-of-place playing in the Premier League, and after a dreadful season, Costa faced more misery when he was left out of Spain's squad for Euro 2016. But all of that seems long ago now, as Costa has shown signs early in the season that he's returning to his best.
Costa has played an instrumental role in Chelsea's impressive start to the campaign; he's scored twice in three games in the Premier League. His first came against West Ham United on the opening day of the season and he then followed it up by scoring in the next game against Watford. Both goals proved crucial as they won the games late on for his side. Costa is once again looking sharp in front of goal and his career at Chelsea is now back on track.

Costa has also impressed recently while away on international duty. Spain demolished Liechtenstein 8-0 in their first World Cup qualifier, with Costa twice getting on the score sheet. Costa's been unconvincing for the Spanish national side in the past, but Spain's new manager Julen Lopetegui praised the Chelsea striker after their recent win: could Costa's international career finally be about to take off?

Costa is unstoppable on his day; he's a formidable physical presence, and he has a habit of being in the right place to score. Although Costa can be a controversial figure on the pitch, there's no denying his immense talent, and it's been evident this season. Costa looks to have put his troubles from last season behind him with his recent performances for Chelsea and Spain; he's on his way to being back to his very best, which is a major boost for Conte's side.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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