A significant reason why Chelsea head up the Premier League table and are firm favourites to lift the title this season has been the lethal finishing of hotshot striker Diego Costa.
Last season the West London club had issues in the final third, with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba failing to instil huge amounts of confidence in the Stamford Bridge faithful or Jose Mourinho.
Upgrading the team’s striking options was a major priority last summer, with all three floundering forwards shipped out and a more dangerous looking triumvirate of Costa, Loic Remy and Didier Drogba taking their place.
Spain international Costa has given the Blues something that they severely lacked last term; predatory finishing, a physical presence leading the line and intelligent running off the ball. The former Atletico Madrid man leads the division’s scoring charts with 19 strikes to date, with his form in the first half of the season particularly impressive.
Although Costa’s form has dipped slightly since the turn of the year, the striker suffering a hamstring injury in the side’s victory over Hull last time out is far from ideal. With it remaining to be seen just how long the tempestuous frontman will be on the sidelines for, Mourinho will have to rely on strength in depth and trust either Remy or Drogba to fill Costa’s considerable void.
Although the Ivorian is a club legend and a player in the injured star’s ilk, Remy is seemingly number two on Mourinho’s list and came off the bench to score the winning goal at the KC Stadium on Sunday.
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It may now be up to the France international to fire the West Londoners to the title, but the signs are there that he is more than capable of doing it.
Remy has become something of a forgotten man this term. After lethal stints at QPR and Newcastle specifically, the 28-year-old had proven himself as a forward capable of succeeding in the Premier League. However, like Ba before him, Remy opted for a move to Chelsea with the understanding that regular first-team football would be far from a given.
This term the ex-Marseille attacker has only started three Premier League games and featured in less than 400 minutes of action – a crying shame for a player that has all the attributes to be a real star if playing regularly.
However, despite having long periods of inactivity, Remy has stayed sharp and proven himself when given a chance. He scored the important opener in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with closest rivals Manchester City last year, while also netted against Tottenham and Swansea.
Now, with the potential opportunity for a prolonged run of games in the first team, Remy has the chance to play his part in the Blues’ title success. In the long run, with Costa going nowhere, Chelsea’s tactics stipulate that Remy will have no place in the starting XI unless he can overtake the Brazilian-born powerhouse – which seems unlikely.
Despite his future potentially being away from Stamford Bridge, Remy now has a golden opportunity to play defining role in Chelsea’s title charge and remind everyone just how good he is.