JOSE Mourinho’s summer signing Diego Costa will be gunning for goals on his Chelsea debut at Turf Moor on Monday, after bagging a brace in last night’s friendly win over Real Sociedad.
The Blues’ last big money recruit, Fernando Torres, has found life tough at Stamford Bridge and could be relegated to a bench role when Chelsea face Burnley in the season opener in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
But Costa hopes his own big money move to Chelsea will be a very different story.
The 25-year-old, who scored twice in a 2-0 win over Spanish club Sociedad at Stamford Bridge last night, arrives in England with an impressive reputation after helping Atletico Madrid to win La Liga last season.
Costa scored 36 goals last season as he spearheaded the Atletico attack in deadly fashion following the exit of previous top scorer Radamel Falcao to Monaco.
A powerful and explosive player, he believes he could even be more suited to the Premier League than La Liga.
“They say the English game is more physical than in Spain, so hopefully I'll do well,” Costa said.
“I want to improve, not only as a player but as an individual, and I believe this is the perfect place for me to do that.
“That's the reason I chose Chelsea and why I want to defend this shirt. “We have an outstanding squad. If we can all stick together, pull in the same direction and remain focused, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be going to the final stages and fighting for every trophy available.”
Costa netted 20 goals in 2012/13 but before that he had been something of a journeyman, representing eight clubs in six years.
He started his career at Barcelona, but not that one.
This was Barcelona Esportivo Capelo in Sao Paulo in his native Brazil. From there he moved to Portugal with Braga, before dropping down a league for a loan spell with Penafiel.
He first joined Atletico Madrid in 2007 but never made a first-team appearance, instead returning to Braga on loan before having further temporary spells with Celta Vigo and Albacete.
Costa left Atletico to sign for Valladolid on a permanent deal and was unable to stop them dropping out of La Liga, but his old club still decided to take up a buy-back option in 2010.
He was loaned out again to Rayo Vallecano before he finally found regular football with Atletico at the Vicente Calderon.
As well as helping them to the league title, he also scored at Stamford Bridge to send Atletico to last season’s Champions League final, although injury forced him off after less than 10 minutes against city rivals Real Madrid in Lisbon.
If Costa arrives at Turf Moor keen to prove his Premier League credentials, he will also want to put behind him a difficult summer at the World Cup.
Costa controversially snubbed his native Brazil last year, despite featuring in two friendly matches for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side, and decided to represent Spain instead.
He had been granted Spanish nationality last summer on the grounds of residency and led their line at the World Cup, but failed to score as they were surprisingly knocked out in the group stage.
At that point his decision not to play for Brazil did not look the wisest. Three weeks and seven German goals later, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that he was not in the Brazil side that will forever be infamous for their capitulation in the semi finals.
Now Costa’s focus is only on club matters.
Burnley are next in his sights.
The Clarets must be alert if they are to stop him.
If they do, there might yet be the small matter of Torres and Didier Drogba too.