Chelsea need to mirror Atleti to keep and get best out of Costa

Diego Costa is clearly not performing at Chelsea. In fact, it is fair to say no one other than Willian is covering themselves in glory

Indeed, Costa, who was last season’s Premier League third highest scorer, is now 40/1 to top the scoring charts this campaign.

The Spain forward has only found the net four times this season across all competitions and doesn’t look set to replicate the goalscoring form of the past three seasons where he continually scored at least 20 times in all competitions.

Costa had to endure a spell on the sidelines when Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wanted to experiment with playing Eden Hazard as a striker and the 27-year-old expressed his anger over failing to be brought on via a bib-based protest.

Rumours coming out today suggest the former Atletico Madrid man is hoping for a move back to the La Liga side and the Blues should take this as a clue of what to do with Costa.

By implementing a 4-4-2 they would be playing the same formation that worked wonders for Atleti when they won La Liga and made it to the Champions League final in 2014.

Furthermore, when playing with another forward in front of two solid banks of four, it seemed to bring the best out of the Brazilian-born striker.

Costa’s highest ever scoring tally came the season before he headed to Stamford Bridge when he netted 36 times playing in a front two.

Conversely, playing up front on his own for his nation has produced one solitary goal in ten appearances.

Obviously, this tactical shift would make it difficult for Chelsea’s three attacking midfielders to make it into the side, but they too could easily adapt.

Hazard could join him as a striker, having already made tentative steps towards making that position his own, while Willian and Oscar could go either side of midfield.

And let’s face it, the Blues really don’t have a lot to lose.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.