5 Premier League forwards who lost the plot in 2016/17

Diego Costa Chelsea
Diego Costa’s future at Chelsea is in serious doubt
Scott Newman
Modified 22 Jun 2017
Top 5 / Top 10

The 2016/17 season of the Premier League could be labelled as another season of the strikers. Tottenham’s Harry Kane struck an impressive 29 goals in 30 games, while Romelo Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez followed closely behind with 25 and 24 goals respectively. There were eleven hat-tricks hit in England with four of them hit by Kane, and all the top five teams scored more than 70 goals each.

Unfortunately, though, the season wasn’t as fruitful for some of the league’s other strikers as it was for Lukaku and Kane. In fact, some of the Premier League’s top forwards had a downright nightmare in one way or another. It might’ve been a good season for goals, but these strikers all seemed to lose the plot in 2016/17.

#1 Diego Costa

On the face of it, there’s no way that you could suggest Diego Costa had a bad season in 2016/17. He scored an impressive 20 league goals in 35 games and helped Chelsea to win the Premier League title – their second of the three seasons that the Spain international has spent at Stamford Bridge. But goals aside, Costa’s behaviour could definitely be considered as him “losing the plot”, and it may well have damaged his career irreparably.

Despite being in the prime of his career at 28 years old, Costa showed his immaturity once again this season by falling out with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte in January, apparently over the correct way to handle back pain. Already supposedly frustrated with life in London, Costa then publically flirted with a move to the Chinese Super League – hardly the place for a world-class striker, but somewhere to grab a lot of money in a short space of time.

A potential move to Tianjin Quanjian fell through however and Costa returned to the Chelsea set-up, where he continued to score goals until the Blues won the league. Costa’s behaviour has since come back to haunt him though – a recent text message from Conte to the Spaniard has revealed he’s now surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Had he stayed onside with the Italian, more success could’ve followed for Costa at Chelsea but now – with potential suitors Atletico Madrid banned from transfer activity – he may find himself forced to China or worse still, frozen out entirely.

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Published 22 Jun 2017
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