LONDON: Diego Costa is beginning to have the same impact at Chelsea as Didier Drogba once did, central defender Gary Cahill believes.
Costa has come to symbolise the club’s transformation under Antonio Conte and ensured the Blues extended their winning streak to nine Premier League games with the winning goal against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
That goal, Costa’s 12th in 15 league appearances this season, moved Conte’s side back three points clear at the head of the table ahead of the midweek trip to face bottom club Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
And the manner in which the Brazil-born Spain striker created and scored an excellent individual goal in the final moments of the game recalled memories of the inspirational Drogba.
The former Ivory Coast international spent nine years at Stamford Bridge, delivering a succession of trophies to the club — including famously scoring the decisive penalty that secured them the Champions League.
Cahill believes there is a comparison to be made between Costa — who is now in his third season at the club — and the Ivorian.
“Didier was a huge figure goal-scoring wise and also with his personality on and off the pitch,” said Cahill.
“You need strikers like that and Diego has fitted in nicely. Since he’s been at the club he’s scored goals but this season he’s on fire.