Maurizio Sarri should turn to former Chelsea favourite Diego Costa in his quest to add more goals to his side, according to Peter Crouch.
Chelsea have made a solid start to life under Sarri at Stamford Bridge and are pushing hard for a top-four finish and are also still in with a shot at glory in the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
However, Sarri’s side have found goals hard to come by this season and, having only registered 38 goals in 21 Premier League games, the Italian has already told the Blues board to splash the cash to solve their striking issues.
Saturday’s newspapers suggest a deal to bring Gonzalo Higuain could be close, while West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic is another name linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
However, former England striker Crouch reckons the club should turn to former favourite Costa, who could soon find himself surplus to requirements at Atletico Madrid.
“Chelsea have scored the fewest goals of the top six sides,” Crouch said in his column for the Daily Mail. “A return of 38 from 21 matches isn’t enough to win you a title, no matter how good your defence is.
“The one thing you need is someone to score you 30 goals and they do not have a player like Harry Kane, Mo Salah or Sergio Aguero.
“Not so long ago, they did. Diego Costa would absolutely transform Chelsea’s fortunes and, if it was down to me, I’d break the bank to re-sign him.
“You can talk about Gonzalo Higuain or Karim Benzema, but I think Costa would be the one to take Chelsea where they want to be.
“There was something about the way Costa’s career finished at Stamford Bridge that doesn’t sit right. I know there were huge problems between him and Antonio Conte, but even so, it seemed like they didn’t put up any kind of fight to keep him.”
Some might say Costa has burned too many bridges to be considered again by Chelsea, but Crouch reckons they were always a different proposition when he played.
“Costa is a striker with everything and someone I used to study at great length,” he added. “Yes, he is a good bit younger than me, but in this profession you can never stop learning and I would watch footage of him – and Kane, for that matter – to see how it could help me.
“Some might not like his aggressive style but to see him play is compelling. Ryan Shawcross, my team-mate at Stoke, said he used to love facing Costa as he knew from the first minute it would be a fight and he would be taken to the limits physically. Costa gave it, but he could also take it.
“He could also score. When Chelsea won the title in 2015 under Jose Mourinho, Costa was formidable. He was even better in 2017 when Conte turned them into champions again.
“Had he been available to Sarri for 2019, who knows what might have happened?”
Costa registered 59 goals in 120 appearances for Chelsea, helping the Blues win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup, before he returned to LaLiga with previous club Atletico.
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