7th October – Diego Costa

Diego Costa has made a fantastic start to life as a Chelsea player and he singlehandedly could make the difference between them competing in competitions to winning the Premier League and the Champions League.

After a disappointing World Cup with Spain a lot of people were worried that he would struggle in England but that couldn’t be further from the truth as he has already proven that he is one of the best strikers in world football. Costa does have to pay tribute to his fellow countryman Cesc Fabregas for setting up a lot of chances for him, but he has still had to put them away which in a lot of Chelsea strikers have failed to do recently.

The 26 year old started his professional career at Portuguese club Braga. But he had to wait until a loan spell at Second Division club Penafiel to make his debut and after five goals in 13 appearances he had impressed enough to be bought by Atletico Madrid in December 2006. But he would remain at Braga until the end of the season. He would only score one goal for Braga but it was an important last minute winner against Parma in the UEFA Cup to give his side a 1-0 win.

In the following two years he had loan spells at Celta Vigo and Albacete, both in the Segunda Division in Spain. At Celta he struggled with only five goals in 31 games but at Albacete he had a better time, scoring 9 times in 35 games. With his parent club still not convinced by the striker they sold him to Valladolid on the 8th July 2009. He started off well, scoring six times in the first 12 games but then he only scored once in the next five months which was a reason why the club got relegated.
Costa Vallodolid
There was a buyback clause in his contract and in June 2010 Costa rejoined Atletico as backup to Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero. Despite limited playing time he still managed six goals in the league and scored his first hatrick on the 3rd April 2011 in a 3-2 win over Osasuna. At the end of the season it looked like he would be leaving again but a serious knee injury saw a move to Besiktas to collapse. When he recovered he was sent out on loan to Rayo Vallecano for the rest of the season on the 23rd January and got off to another fantastic start by scoring four goals in his first three appearances. This time he managed to keep up a good goalscoring record and ended the campaign with 10 in 16.
Costa Albacete
The 2012-13 season saw Costa become first choice at Atletico and he repaid manager Diego Simeone by scoring some crucial goals, particularly in the Copa Del Rey. Atletico went on to win the trophy and Costa finished the tournament as the top scorer but it was in the following season that he became well known outside of Spain.

Atletico surprised a lot of people by winning La Liga and reaching the final of the Champions League and this was largely down to a solid defence and the goals of Costa. His 36 goals in all competitions was a fantastic return for a striker that had been wrote off several times already in his career and convinced Chelsea to pay £32 million for his services.
Costa AM
He could not have got off to a better start with him winning the Player of the Month in August and hitting nine goals, including a hatrick against Swansea City, in the first seven Premier League games as Chelsea lead the table and look like the team to beat this season.

The final word can go to the Premier League’s highest ever scorer Alan Shearer. “Everything impressed me about Diego Costa, he is tailor made for the Premier League. The way he runs the line, in behind and can hold the ball up. He is going to love the Premier League and the Chelsea fans will love him. When it is not going for them they have a goalscorer who can get them out of it.”

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9th August – Filipe Luis

Filipe Luis has a tough job this season in being the true replacement for Ashley Cole at Chelsea but if his time in Spain is anything to go by then he will be a success.

Jose Mourinho knew he needed a new left back and even though Cesar Azpilicueta did a very good job it does give him more options at the back. If Chelsea are to challenge for both the Champions League and Premier League they will certainly need top quality players and come the end of the season Luis could be the best signing of the summer or at least the most reliable.
Luis Fig
The left back started his career at Brazilian club Figueirense where he played for two seasons and made 22 appearances for the club before moving to Real Madrid in 2005, however he did not play for the first team and was instead moved to their B-team in the Segunda Division. He played 37 times in the league and impressed enough to earn a loan move away to La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna.

Although he did not get as many chances as he would have liked his loan was extended for another season and in the 2007-08 season he went onto become their first choice left back and on the 10th June he made his move permanent by signing a five year deal. During his first season as a Depor player he was the only outfield player in La Liga to appear in every league match and he also scored two goals.
Luis Depor
Once again in the following season he had played every minute and helped Deportivo to fourth in the table, however a horrific injury to his right fibula in January meant he was likely to miss the rest of the season. Amazingly he returned to action in less than four months and on his comeback was involved in the goal that helped the club win 1-0 against Mallorca.

Luis’ form meant that other club were looking at him and on the 23rd July 2010 Atletico Madrid signed him for an undisclosed fee on a five year deal. He made his debut against Real Zaragoza and set up Diego Costa for the only goal of the game and was awarded the man of the match award. Despite some impressive performances he struggled to hold down the left back spot in his first season but eventually he became a vital member of the team.
Luis AM
From then on the team became much more successful and he played the full 90 minutes in their Copa Del Rey final victory over Real Madrid in 2013 which was the catalyst for even more trophies. In his final season at the club he helped the team reach the Champions League final and also was part of the defence that conceded only 26 goals in the league and lifted the La Liga trophy at the end of the campaign. On the 18th July Luis made the move to Chelsea for £15.8 million.

The final word can go to Jose Mourinho. “We needed a pure left back, a real left back. He is experienced. Very stable, very reliable. He is a player who normally does not make mistakes.”