Since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club in 2003, the Blues have been through a bunch of strikers from every major league in Europe to try and find a goal-scoring threat. But a lot of their strikers have failed to provide the goals expected of them, leading some to believe that Stamford Bridge is the location of a terrible curse.
Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Mateja Kezman, Salomon Kalou, Andriy Shevchenko, Claudio Pizarro, Nicolas Anelka, Franco Di Santo, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, Patrick Bamford, Lucas Piazon, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o are a list of strikers which have been bought by Chelsea but have failed to live up to expectations and produce the goals that Abramovich so craves. The Oligarch has spent nearly £200million trying to fix this problem, to no avail.
Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasslebaink did manage to score 23 goals during the 2000-01 Premier League season but this was before Abramovich had bought the club.
Many people would argue that the only striker to get away from this curse during the Abramovich era is Dider Drogba. The Ivorian scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea during his first spell at the club, and no striker at Chelsea has been able to match his goal-scoring record.
During this summer transfer window, Chelsea signed Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal after meeting the £32m release clause in his contract. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Costa, who is on wages of £150,000 a week, will be the answer to Chelsea’s striker problem and it’s easy to see why.
The 25-year-old Spaniard scored 36 goals in 52 appearances for Atletico Madrid last season including a penalty against Chelsea in the quarter final second leg of the UEFA Champions League. The amount of goals Costa scored for Atletico Madrid last season is more than what Fernando Torres (11 goals), Demba Ba (eight goals), and Samuel Eto’o (six goals) scored for Chelsea combined.
He ended his time at Atletico Madrid with 64 goals from 135 appearances after helping his former side win the La Liga title in his last season and end as runners-up in the UEFA Champions League.
Not only does he have a proven goal-scoring record, Diego Costa has a presence not many strikers in world football can boast. His measurements of 6ft 2in and 85kg help him play towards his strengths of dribbling and finishing, he can hold his own in the penalty area and he isn’t afraid of the physical side of the game. He is also excellent on the counter attack.
The current Chelsea squad is clearly being built around him and the Spaniard has already shown what he can do, even when he’s not 100 per cent fit as shown against Everton.
He’s already scored four goals from three Premier League appearances and you’d be crazy to back against him breaching the 20+ mark with ease.
Only three Chelsea players have won the Golden Boot in the past; Drogba, Hasslebaink and Anelka. The hope would be for Diego Costa to join them and if there’s anyone that can break the Stamford Bridge curse, we could well be looking at him.