Thomas Tuchel can save Chelsea an Erling Haaland fee with £3m Diego Costa saviour – Daniel Childs


It is very hard not to watch Armando Broja score goals and be reminded of the masterclass in forward execution that was Diego Costa at Chelsea.

The bruising physical battles, the unrelenting aggression covering an elite technical skill few traditional forwards possess and the inevitability of Diego whenever he got going.

Like a tornado engulfing everything in its swirl of chaos, the end result was him rifling the ball into the back of the net.

Broja still has a very long way to go, it is fair to point out that peak Diego was 25-years-old when Chelsea signed him in July 2014, Broja only turned 20 in September.

Costa was a very late bloomer in the expected trajectory of top European forwards, turning into a lethal finisher during the 2013/14 season under Diego Simeone.

In the years preceding that career-changing season he was sent on seven loans away from the Vicente Calderón.

His story shows the wisdom in not writing players off too soon and similarly appreciating that goalscoring is an art form that can be mastered over many years before reaching its peak.

Broja is only four months into his second professional loan away from Chelsea after signing a new contract with the club back in July.

Although the Albanian took some time to impress Ralph Hasenhüttl, he slowly has gained more minutes for Southampton netting four times in the Premier League.

The latest at Crystal Palace on Wednesday night was his best so far, taking the ball from deep, turning swiftly and driving towards goal before thundering a low shot precisely into the corner of Vicente Guaita’s net.

Few of Costa’s goals were scored outside the box for Chelsea, only two in fact and they both came in his final season.

Most of Diego’s excellent work came inside the six-yard box but what Broja is replicating from the former Blues frontman is the ability to maraud from deep, barging defenders to the side with his broad frame before entering the box.

It is impossible to ignore similar mannerisms particularly in the way they run.

But a trademark of Costa too was his neat technique when providing the finishing touch to attacking moves.

In the post-Costa era, Chelsea supporters have witnessed a number of forwards find the crucial part of any striker’s work lacking.



After being played through Broja could look to drill a shot across Robert Sanchez with Shane Duffy sliding into block the shot.
After being played through Broja could look to drill a shot across Robert Sanchez with Shane Duffy sliding into block the shot.



But instead, he cuts in by backheeling the ball away from Duffy, leaving him out the game before curling an outside right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
But instead, he cuts in by backheeling the ball away from Duffy, leaving him out the game before curling an outside right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

That composure under the most pressure with usually a defender nibbling at your heels or attempting to put you off balance is what sets the elite apart from good.

Broja’s goals against Burnley and Brighton were eerily reminiscent of some of Costa’s best Chelsea moments.



Diego Costa receives a pass from Willian but is being tightly marked by Thiago Silva trying to force him away from goal.
Diego Costa receives a pass from Willian but is being tightly marked by Thiago Silva trying to force him away from goal.



But Costa smartly cuts inside and quickly drills a left-footed shot into the same corner Broja found.
But Costa smartly cuts inside and quickly drills a left-footed shot into the same corner Broja found.

The Blues recently broke their transfer record for Romelu Lukaku in August so the concept of needing to spend huge amounts on a striker feels absurd anytime soon.

But Broja’s rapid development with four Premier League goals in only six starts proves Chelsea’s need to monitor his progress as he could become a priceless alternative to Erling Haaland.

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Haaland was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout the past summer and even if he moves from Borussia Dortmund in 2022 for a huge fee, it is not illogical to assume a future move to Chelsea could happen.

Looking internally though has proved so beneficial to upgrading key positions in Chelsea’s squad and Broja can be another one in the coming years, whilst also replicating the transformative strengths of Diego Costa.

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