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EPL 2016/17: Diego Costa is just like Didier Drogba says club legend Gianfranco Zola

Zola also praised Chelsa boss Antonio Conte's tactical knowledge.

Diego Costa
Diego Costa has been in sensational form this season

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has hailed star striker Diego Costa as the successor of club legend Didier Drogba. The 28-year-old Spaniard has been in magical form this season and has already netted 10 league goals for the Blues. Costa’s form is certainly one of the reasons why Chelsea sit pretty atop the Premier League table. 

The former Italian international acknowledges Costa’s contribution to his side and has labelled him as an exceptional player. “He is certainly one of them [one of the best strikers in the league],” he told Omnisport. “He is very similar to what Drogba was before. He is very tall, very strong, so you can give him high balls and he will handle them.

“But also he is very skilled with the ball at his feet and he is very fast. So you can see he is good and can play in different ways. You can always give him the ball and he will make the most out of this. He has been exceptional really, he has scored many goals but his contribution has also been good for the team."

Costa arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2014 for £32 million from Atletico Madrid and has registered 46 goals and 20 assists for the Blues in all competitions. Even though the Spaniard has often found himself the subject of controversies, he has overshadowed them with his goal scoring prowess.

Zola, who was voted as the Chelsea’s greatest player ever 2003, identified the tactical awareness of Antonio Conte as the reason for his bright start to the campaign. “The English coaches have always been good,” he said. It is also well-known that Italian coaches have always been good. I think the style suits well in this league - if you have good tactical awareness, you are at an advantage. Their tactical knowledge of the game and periods which you work on can make a big difference.”

Conte’s side has seen a remarkable turnaround in form after back to defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal. The switch to a 3-5-2 system has played dividends as Chelsea  have won seven games on the spin scoring 19 goals and keeping 6 clean sheets. They are arguably the best side in the Premier League right now and The Blues will be hoping to continue their winning run when they travel to The Etihad this weekend to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

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