When Chelsea signed Michy Batshuayi for a whooping £33.2 million from Marseille, a lot of eyebrows were raised as to whether the tag around his collar was worth it. What followed were the clouds of doubt looming over the future of the club’s striker Diego Costa and the query if new acquisition would mean that Costa was going to be the one to be shown the exit door.
In an interview at a press conference in Austria, manager Antonio Conte has dismissed the rumours and has vehemently admitted that the Spanish striker is holding a “fundamental importance” in his side. Alas, the concerns revolving around the future of the aggressive and critically acclaimed striker seem to be finally resolved. Would it be alright to underline that the Blues have made a safe bet and have done themselves a great favour by clearing that he is unsellable?
The 27-year-old centre-forward was signed by Chelsea a couple of years ago and he was instrumental in helping Chelsea to reclaim the summit of the top tier of English football under José Mourinho in the 2014/15 season. Last campaign however did put a dent on his CV as his on-field indiscipline and lacklustre form up front made him a serial headline as a one-season wonder. In a season where the entire west London side suffered from the hangover that lasted for a bit too much, Costa was given the most severe of bashings.
The former league champions are left with only two first-team strikers in the shape of Batshuayi and Costa, and the sale of the latter would terribly weaken the side. Loic Remy hasn’t really replicated his QPR form in the Chelsea shirt and to refrain from taking a dip in the transfer market for a proven striker, Conte has done a sensible thing by ensuring that the ill-tempered yet lethal poacher stays in his books.
Batshuyi is young and unfamiliar with the hostility of the Premier League apart from the huge level of expectations that will be put over his shoulders which is why Costa should not be undervalued by the Londoners. Roman Abramovich has funded over £60 million for the purchase of Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante already and it stands unclear whether he will dig his pocket anymore. In a market with the lack of supply and ever-rising demand for strikers, the price inflation and financial exponents also come into the scenes which are needed to be considered as well.
The Brazilian born striker has underwent the rigours of the Premier League and branding him as a failure after an average season would mean making a complete fool of ourselves. Conte will need an established striker who is familiar with the territories and Costa perfectly fits the bill and can assist the Italian to pave the way back to the top for Chelsea. The jury shall put pen on the paper for their final verdict only at the end of the coming season but we believe Costa is an irreplaceable component in the Chelsea squad, at least at this point of time.