There’s little doubt who the star of Chelsea’s superb start to the season is. Diego Costa’s seven goals in his first ever four games for the Blues helped Mourinho’s side to maximum points from their opening four fixtures in the Premier League. A ruthless striker was the missing ingredient from Chelsea’s push towards the title last season with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o all failing to consistently find the back of he net.
Jose Mourinho’s solution this summer has certainly been ruthless as he offloaded all the three misfiring forwards and replaced them with Costa, Loic Remy and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. It’s the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard that has caught the eye the most, but for how long will his rich vein of form last?
In the past few months, Costa’s hamstrings have been causing a bit of a bother resulting in a below par World Cup campaign. This week, the striker himself said, “There will be a moment when I cannot score – that is football.’’
Is this patch of form a sign of things to come or is it just a purple patch that will fail to last the season?
Here are five players from recent years who started their career with their Premier League clubs at a canter only for their performances to fizzle out into mediocrity.
Manchester City paid £8 million to get the Brazilian from Ukrainian side Shaktar Donetsk and his initial performances under Sven-Goran Eriksson were hugely encouraging. His versatility meant that he was utilised in a number of positions be it playing on wing, in the number ten role, in central midfield or even at times at full-back.
Throughout his two seasons in Manchester, Elano always started the first few matches on a great note but his form eventually tapered off. During his first season he had already found the net four times by mid-October and in the first two games of the following season he registered three goals.
The winter weather in England seemed to affect his game badly as Elano actually rediscovered some form in March during his first season. In total, he scored six Premier League goals from March onwards in both seasons. Interestingly, from the month of November till the end of February, he only found the net once whilst in England.
One must not forget that he previously played in much colder Ukraine so his sudden loss of form can’t really be attributed to climate.
A player that was regularly praised by his Swedish manager, Elano ended up being shipped out to Galatasary after 24 months in the sky blue shirt.
Considered one of the best midfielders in the world when joining Chelsea in 2008, the Brazil-born midfielder had already won all that there’s to be won in club football when he arrived on the British shores.
Two stunning goals in his first two games earned Deco the Player of the Month award for August 2008 as Chelsea scored five goals without reply. Unfortunately for the Blues, their season quickly took a slump mirroring the Portugese midfielder’s form. New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari got the sack in February and Deco only scored once more till the end of the season.