After a horrible afternoon at Selhurst Park where Chelsea’s inability to score goals was on display again, the Chelsea faithful may be wondering just where our next striker will come from, as our current stable of forwards don’t appear to be up to scratch for the Premier League or are on their way out of the club. The favorite, per betting house Sky Bet, is current Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, a Brazilian born Spanish international.
In fact, the betting has been so impressive that Sky Bet has taken the bet offline. Head of Football trading for Sky Bet Paul Wiggins said “”We’ve seen an unusually high amount of bets on Diego Costa joining Chelsea, especially given we’re some way off the transfer window re-opening.”
We made Chelsea 5/2 favorites when we opened the market and they have been heavily backed over the weekend at odds as short as 4/7, forcing us to suspend the market.”- Paul Wiggins, Sky Bet Head of Football Trading
Chelsea would do well to sign Diego Costa, at 25 goals in La Liga he has scored more goals than Chelsea strikers Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o combined. Attacking midfielder Eden Hazard is still Chelsea’s leading scorer with 14 league goals so far. Costa’s goals have helped Atletico maintain their surprising challenge for the Spanish league title. Atletico currently sit on top of La Liga, just one point clear of Barcelona and 3 points clear of crosstown rivals Real Madrid.
If the rumors are true I’d be pleased with this business as long as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich doesn’t overspend on Costa as he has done before on big name forwards (Lookin’ at you Andriy Shevchenko and £50M man Fernando Torres). Demba Ba has more or less announced his intention to seek other employment, and Samuel Eto’o could return to Spain, leaving Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku as the only top flight tested strikers in the Chelsea first team, and there have been rumors Torres may be off to Italy or moving back to his boyhood club Atletico Madrid either in a potential cash and player swap for Costa or as a standalone deal. Torres was an unquestioned star at Atletico before moving to Liverpool in 2007. Torres won the nickname of El Nino while paying for Atleti, he scored 82 goals in his 214 appearances for Los Rojiblancos.
While I am personally a fan of Fernando Torres and feel his transfer to Chelsea was mishandled on both ends, I understand in order to compete for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles, we will need a truly elite striker and Torres simply isn’t the world beater he once was. If Diego Costa can be had at a decent rate, I’m all for going into next season with a strike force of Torres, Diego Costa, and Romelu Lukaku.
If Torres is headed back to Madrid or off to Italy, then Chelsea will most likely need to purchase two strikers in this window. Paris St-Germain forward Edison Cavani has been a Chelsea target the last few transfer windows should Jose Mourinho not be ready or willing to use Romelu Lukaku. There are rumors Jose Mourinho does not see Lukaku as Chelsea’s long term solution to the striker problem, and that he is looking to sell him to a non-Premier League side. Should he be sold, the transfer fee would almost certainly go towards the purchase of a new striker, either Costa or another.