What a difference a year in football can make. This time, in 2014 the Premier League was in awe of Chelsea's newest recruit Diego Costa as the Spanish striker racked up goal after goal as Jose Mourinho's side all but secured the title before Christmas.
Costa and fellow fresh recruit Cesc Fabregas seemed a match made in heaven as they tore apart defences up and down the division with slick passing and brutally clinical finishing.
Fast forward to now and the situation could not be more different, Chelsea are currently lingering just above the relegation places, Fabregas seems to have lost all his undoubted ability and Costa is a man whose time in England looks like it is set for a premature end.
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Aggression has become a liability
When he first appeared on English shores it looked as if Costa's tenacious attitude combined with his 'win at all costs' mentality was a recipe for years of success in the Premier League.
Defenders seemed genuinely afraid to combat Costa's style, instead, they fell for his tricks and allowed him to flourish much like he had during his days with Atletico Madrid. His style was already apparent while he was plying his trade in La Liga, but not many thought it would stand out in the more physical environment of the Premier League.
Goals and universal acclaim from fans and pundits alike flooded the Spanish striker, with Gary Neville among those suggesting his aggression was brilliant for the sport and an example to everyone.
Now the situation has changed drastically, Costa's aggression has turned into pure recklessness and Chelsea as a side, are suffering the consequences.
Recklessness destroying his talent
Every time his feet come into contact with grass it seems as if trouble isn't far way, defenders now seem comfortable combating him and his effortless goalscoring from last campaign has dwindled away.
He was recently dropped from the starting line-up due to his lack of form and most likely due to the several altercations he had with manager Mourinho. The away tie in Maccabi Tel-Aviv saw the pair have a public argument and it is clear that something is not quite right in their relationship.
What is frustrating is his talent is so obvious, a player that on his game is capable of winning titles with top teams, as he did last season. However, his lack of compassion and inability to ignore winding up opponents is suffocating this talent.
Sometimes it seems he is more focused on getting in opponents' heads than actually doing the business with the ball. To play with the style he was achieving last season you have to be producing the required standard on the pitch first, otherwise, you simply look like a liability, as is the case with Costa at this moment in time.
Is it time he and Chelsea part ways?
Whether the striker does depart from Stamford Bridge is something which remains to be seen, but for the moment while he is still there, it may be sensible for Mourinho to search for an effective alternative to help turn his season around.
Loic Remy could be given a chance or Mourinho may continue to opt to play without a recognised striker which he has in recent games with mixed success. The less said about Radamel Falcao the better, unfortunately.
Costa's time in England seems ever closer to reaching its end with every passing day and I believe it would take a drastic change in attitude and awareness for him to be a valuable asset to Chelsea once again.
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