Diego Costa And Cesc Fabregas, Two Players Chelsea Failed to Replace

Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Chelsea have not challenged for a Premier League title since 2017. Fans always talk about the loss of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. But the reality is that he left the club three long years ago in 2019. The team was already a shell of its former self by then. The loss of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas caused the most damage to the club.

Costa and Fabregas have won two Premier League titles with the club. One came under Jose Mourinho in the 2014-15 season and the other under Antonio Conte in the 2016-17 season. Both players were bought in 2014 as priority buys for the title challenge. They both delivered. This article will look at each player and try and find a solution or two to a couple of glaring issues.

Costa - Chelsea's Most Consistent Goal Scorer

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

When Diego Costa joined in the summer of 2014, the last striker to reach the 20-goal mark for the club in the league was Didier Drogba in 2010. Drogba had injury issues, and Fernando Torres never found consistency. In came Costa from Atletico Madrid for a fee of £34.2 million. He had an immediate impact, scoring 20 goals in the league, and the club won the title.

The following season, the team played poorly, and Costa only managed 12 goals. A return to form in the 2016-17 season saw him score 20 goals again, and the club won another title. The fallout with Antonio Conte in the summer of 2017, the failed bid for Romelu Lukaku and subsequent purchase of Alvaro Morata is well known.

A nine-goal thriller on Merseyside in #EveChe! 😮

Chelsea have spent £160 million on Morata and Romelu Lukaku as replacements and both have scored a combined 21 goals over three seasons. In comparison, Costa scored 52 goals over three seasons during his time at the club. Tammy Abraham scored 15 goals in the 2019-20 season but wasn't a regular the following season and he left for AS Roma last summer. So, what's next?

Lukaku has not settled and might probably look to move elsewhere if an opportunity arises. The club won't be able to find a menace like Diego Costa in the market, and they don't need to. Kai Havertz has filled in as a striker and has done well overall, albeit inconsistently. Chelsea would ideally look at someone like Harry Kane, but he won't sign from Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea are better off sticking with Kai Havertz and bringing in Armando Broja from Southampton. Lukaku can be replaced with a creative winger who can create more chances for the striker and be a goal threat. This leads us perfectly to the next player Chelsea have failed to replace.

Fabregas - The Magician

Leicester City v Chelsea - EFL Cup Third Round
Leicester City v Chelsea - EFL Cup Third Round

Who doesn't know Cesc Fabregas? The Spaniard joined Arsenal from Barcelona as a teenager and became their captain at age 21. He was a talisman for the Gunners, but Barcelona came calling in 2011, and he moved back to Spain. Mourinho then had a conversation with Fabregas before signing for the Blues in 2014 while at the World Cup.

The impact, similar to Costa's, was immediate. Everyone remembers that first assist for Andre Schurrle against Burnley. Fabregas would provide 19 assists in the league that season and create a deadly partnership with Costa. Under Conte, he provided 12 assists in the title-winning 2016-17 season. Fabregas left the club in January 2019 after barely featuring under Maurizio Sarri.

🗣 Cesc Fabregas on Andre Schurrle’s goal 🆚 Burnley in 2014: “It’s all about the run. Make a good run, I’ll find you. If you don’t, no goal.”#CFC

The club currently lack a creative force like Fabregas, who can deliver a pin-point pass. Unlike any other player in the Blues' current squad, he can conjure a ball over the top or a defense-splitting pass. Strikers may miss several chances, but there have been many occasions when their runs are not picked up by the midfield players. The lack of service from midfield is as poor as the finishing.

Someone like Christian Eriksen on a free transfer in the summer would be the perfect solution to the problem. Eriksen spent the second half of the season at Brentford and has been a danger in midfield for a possession-based team. The Dane would be a quality addition to the team.

Chelsea have a big summer ahead once the new owner is announced. There will be turnover, and solutions will have to be found. If the club can solve these two problem areas or at the very least find one or two creative outlets for the team, then Chelsea should be scoring more goals as a result of creating more chances. Whether that happens, only time will tell.

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Edited by Shardul Sant
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