Diego Costa’s Chelsea future continues to look uncertain with the Spaniard rumoured to be unsettled. Former Blue, Romelu Lukaku has been linked with a mega-money return to the club just two years on from his departure. Lewis Addley explores why resigning the Belgian would be a backward step for the club…
Antonio Conte has been steadily making his mark on Chelsea through their preseason tour but there has been one notable absentee in the form of Diego Costa. The Spaniard has struggled to take part in some of Conte’s sessions due to a persistent back problem and has barely racked up any minutes playing time.
The rumours surrounding Costa’s future have intensified since Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid last weekend. The forward was secretly videoed in conversation with fellow countryman Sergio Ramos who apparently questioned the reasons why Costa wasn’t rejoining Atletico Madrid.
According to The Metro, Ramos asked Costa ‘Why don’t you come back to Madrid?’ The Chelsea man’s response couldn’t be seen as he had his back to the camera, but Ramos’ follow up question appears to repeat Costa’s response: ‘They won’t let you?’
While this is only speculative on the basis of lipreading it has not painted the situation in any better light for Chelsea fans.
If Costa is to leave the club, Chelsea will need to find a replacement for their first-choice striker, and Lukaku is looking likely to push for an exit from Everton.Embed from Getty Images
The odds have been slashed for a return to Chelsea for Lukaku so let’s have a look at why it would be a backward step for the club.
As we can see, since the 2014/15 Premier League season, Costa has scored four more goals than the Belgian in 19 less games. While there is an argument for Lukaku being a more favourable choice due to being less injury prone, his minutes per goal output is nowhere near as impressive as Costa’s.
Lukaku has contributed more assists and does have a higher take on success percentage, but along with his goalscoring statistics Costa also boasts better shot accuracy and pass completion.
Costa averages a goal every 1.68 games, compared to Lukaku’s 2.6. Hypothetically speaking, if Costa had played the extra 19 games difference between the two with his goal per game average he could have potentially scored another 11 times.Embed from Getty Images
One thing that does play into Lukaku’s favour is age, still only 23 he has a long career ahead of him and plenty of time to learn. Although Costa isn’t even at his peak, at 27, his playing days would arguably come to an end before Lukaku, providing both steer clear of major injuries.
Do you think signing Lukaku as Costa’s replacement would be a backward step? Will either of these players even move before the window closes?