Didier Drogba believes Diego Costa will silence his critics and remain Chelsea’s first-choice striker for the foreseeable future - as long as he adapts to English football.
Costa scored 21 goals in all competitions last season but has only netted four so far this term.
It was reported last week, following his half-time bust-up with Jose Mourinho against Maccabi Tel Aviv, that Chelsea are becoming increasingly concerned about Costa’s conduct and form and will make a decision over his future in the coming weeks. But Drogba has confidence that the 27-year-old will turn his situation around.
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Drogba believes he is evidence that a leopard is capable of changing its spots. The Ivorian wanted to quit Chelsea after two seasons after being labelled a ‘cheat’ due to his on-pitch theatrics but ended up staying at Stamford Bridge after receiving a persuasive text message from Frank Lampard.
Drogba cut out the playacting, to an extent, and went on to become a genuine Chelsea legend.
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Drogba: If I can change, so can Costa
“It was difficult for me to understand why I was being criticised at first,” Drogba was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “But as soon as I did, I did everything to change. I was the one performing and I was the one who had to show that I was good.
“So I have to adapt to them.”
Drogba: Costa has to adapt
Costa is involved in altercations with opposition players every time he takes to the pitch and regularly looks like a red card waiting to happen.
But Drogba has not lost faith in the Brazil-born Spain international, who he played alongside at Stamford Bridge last term.
“Do not forget last season,” the 37-year-old added. “You can understand that this one could be a bit more difficult. He knows how to score goals and will learn how to deal with players in this league, and everything will be okay.
“It took me time to adapt to English football, the intensity, the contact and the way the referees referee the game. Diego saw last year that this league is very strong and competitive. Not that the Spanish league is not competitive but this league is completely different and you can lose against the team that is 16th in the table.”
Costa must learn to focus
When fit and focused, Costa is a superb striker - one of the best in Europe.
But he frequently allows the red mist to cloud his judgement - and his inability to control his temper could eventually cost him his career at Chelsea.
Chelsea fans: should Jose Mourinho get rid of Diego Costa? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below!