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Conte states intent to rejuvenate Costa
Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte has already been active in the summer transfer market as he seeks to put his distinctive spin on the Blues’ squad. Chelsea have spent over £60 million to sign Marseille forward Michy Batshuayi and Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante and it’s unlikely that the spending will stop anytime soon.
However, the key to Conte’s success might center on a man who has been at the Bridge for two years: Diego Costa. The Spaniard spearheaded Jose Mourinho’s title-winning team in the 2014/15 season, scoring twenty-four goals in all competitions, yet his production rate halved in his second season during which Mourinho infamously left the club in flames.
Conte hopes to help Costa rediscover his goalscoring form, which will be no easy task following a season that left the striker increasingly frustrated by the club’s dire situation.
That said, Costa measurably improved after Mourinho departed in December, scoring nine of his twelve league strikes last season under interim manager Guus Hiddink. Furthermore, his demeanor on the pitch became noticeably more encouraging, which meant the world for a player with a strong tendency to boil over.
Speaking to the media during Chelsea’s pre-season training camp in Austria, Conte insisted that Costa will remain at Chelsea over the summer, squashing speculation that a return to former club Atletico Madrid is on the cards for the Spaniard.
“Diego stays with us. He is working very hard. He is very happy to work with his teammates and with me,” said Conte, per the BBC.
“He is an important player, one of the best in the world, and I am sure when he goes into our ideas he will score a lot of goals for us.”
Should Conte be able to bring the best out of Costa, there’s no reason that the forward cannot lead Chelsea right back up the Premier League table.