Diego Costa has finally left Chelsea for Atletico Madrid, having spent most of the summer waiting it out in Brazil.
And while the Blues are saying goodbye to a frequently problematic rogue who was never too far away from controversy, they’re also losing out on a striker who proved capable of surpassing the 20-goal mark in the Premier League.
And according to Costa’s now-former Chelsea teammate Cesc Fabregas, the Spanish international was one of the best No 9’s around in recent seasons.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Marca, Fabregas said: “It’s a shame for him more than anyone.
“Diego knew that signing for Atletico meant he could not play for a few months.
“It has been a difficult situation for him, for Chelsea.
“He deserves to be on the field.”
Costa – who joined Chelsea in 2014 during the same transfer window as Fabregas – refused to train with the club over the summer in a bid to force through a move to his beloved former club Atletico.
The Spanish giants won’t be able to register Costa until January when Atleti’s transfer ban expires.
The writing was on the wall for Costa at the end of last season when manager Antonio Conte informed the striker he wasn’t in his plans via a text message.
Costa and Fabregas were key figures in Chelsea’s Premier League title winning season in 2014-15, with Costa grabbing the goals and Fabregas laying on the assists.
- Everton bid WAY MORE for Diego Costa than Chelsea accepted from Atletico Madrid
- A love letter to Diego Costa – thanks for the memories you evil b******
Fabregas said: “In recent years there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.
“I understood him myself perfectly.
“He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them.
“He gives a lot to the team.
“It is not only the Diego you see on the field.
“He is a character that greatly encourages the group.”