Last season, Chelsea had defensive solidarity, creative quality and a mixture of reliable experience and enthusiastic youth. What they lacked, however, was a man to consistently put the ball in the back of the net.
On Wednesday, it seemed as if the Blues had taken a major step to solving that problem after reports emerged that Spain and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa had passed a medical at the club.
So with Costa's immanent arrival looming, what will the big striker bring to Chelsea and how will this make Chelsea stronger contenders in years to come?
Last season, Costa's 27 La Liga goals and his eight strikes in the Champions League propelled Atletico Madrid to their first La Liga title in 18 years and only their second ever Champions League final. His superb finishing prowess and ability to provide match turning moments while playing up front on his own soon made him one of the most sought after strikers in world football.
Even during the 2012/13 season, despite being under the shadow of Radamel Falcao, Costa still managed to net 20 goals in all competitions with eight assists. It triggered a bid of £20 million from Liverpool last summer but Costa refused to leave in order to prolong his already promising career.
Not only his finishing, but also his physical power and his outstanding technical ability caught the eye of many around Europe. Match winning strikes against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and against AC Milan in the Champions League last season underlined his ability to perform in the big games and when it was needed most.
This is a complete contrast to Chelsea's strikers of Samuel Eto'o, Fernanado Torres and Demba Ba, who last season scored only scored 30 goals combined. Although those aren't truly disastrous numbers, it is far less than Chelsea need and was six goals less than Costa achieved on his own.
In the big games, such as Manchester City and Liverpool away, manager Jose Mourinho's tactics worked wonders due to the counter attacking and defensive style that suited the Blues in these kind of games. It was against the smaller teams however, where Mourinho needed a striker who would finish chances created by the likes of Hazard and Oscar, on a regular basis. This did not happen and the losses to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, as well and home draws to West Ham and Norwich, ultimately cost Chelsea a fourth Premier League title.
Despite the outstanding defence only conceding 27 league goals last season, which was 10 less than the next best defence (Manchester City), the Blues scored 71 goals which was some way behind Liverpool and Manchester City's totals of 101 and 102 goals respectively. This was perhaps the main reason why Chelsea failed to catch the two league front runners throughout the second half of the campaign.
In order to solve this regularly occurring problem, the signing of Costa could provide Mourinho with reliable and consistent forward play, similar to club legend Didier Drogba, and should not only thrive off the creativity from the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Willian, but also the ability to hold up the ball and bring others into play.
Last season Chelsea relied too much on the talent of Hazard, Oscar and Willian to provide the bulk of the attacking play. This is where Chelsea failed in the last push for the Premier League title, with the attacking trio having to work back, create and score sue to the continuous failures of the strikers. Nevertheless, it did not stop Hazard from gaining a PFA player of the year nomination and the likes of Willian and Schurrle showing shades off brilliance to prove that they are more than capable of thriving in arguably the most challenging league in the world. With Costa's arrival, it can only help Chelsea's crucial players to prosper next season and beyond.
The Blues are beginning to look like they are going to be a real force next season. Not only Costa but the probable return of Thibaut Courtois - who by many is seen as the world's top goalkeeper at the moment - and the arrival of talented centre-back Kurt Zouma mean that the all-round balance of the squad is looking extremely strong.
Ever since the departure of Drogba to Shanghai Shenhua in the summer 2012, Chelsea have struggled to find a striker to regularly score 30 goals a season. The £50 million signing of Torres and the January signing of Ba has only proved to be false moves in the transfer market. This time however, there is a feeling that Costa could be an instant hit at Stamford Bridge.
Not only has Costa been highly prolific in La Liga recently, at times outshining the great Lionel Messi, but also his strikes in the Champions League have showed that his able to perform against the very best in Europe, such as Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea themselves. This is unquestionably going to be imperative in Mourinho's quest to win the Champions League with the Blues for the first time.
Costa's immanent arrival will excite many Chelsea fans will give them the rightful belief that the return of the previous glory days under 'The Special One', could be just around the corner.
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