• Premier League

Costa can be as good as Drogba, says Mourinho

ESPN staff
July 26, 2014
Cech's time running out?

Jose Mourinho believes Diego Costa is tailor-made for the Premier League and can match the impact made at Chelsea by Didier Drogba.

The striker completed a £32 million move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month after being heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and is one of three summer arrivals in west London.

Costa scored 36 goals in all competitions last season and Mourinho believes he is the heir apparent to Drogba - and is already even better in some areas of his game.

Diego Costa has been tipped to be a hit in England by his new manager © Getty Images

"It is easy to see a big, strong guy using his body, attacking spaces, holding up the ball and pressing people. But, with proper football eyes, the guy is much more than that," Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea's pre-season training camp in Austria. "The movement is incredible, the intelligence is amazing, the choices he makes in terms of movement are fantastic.

"The guy is a real top striker. I can say that because I've known him for a long time. Even the older players with us - [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John] Terry - they say it's fantastic that he's coming because he is so strong.

"They say he is good in the air but, after three or four days of training, they change their opinion. They say he is much better than that. They thought about his physical presence, but he is much more than that.

"Didier is still better than him in the air. Costa is good in air, Didier is super good.

"But Diego is more powerful than Didier when attacking spaces. And he arrives with more experience at the highest level. When Didier joined us, he was playing in the French league, having played just a couple of matches with Marseille in the Champions League. He was not even playing in World Cups with the Ivory Coast.

"Diego is made. Physically, mentally, Diego is an end-product. The Premier League is difficult and he knows; he is ready. To play with the Chelsea responsibilities and pressure, he knows and he is ready, too.

"I don't think it will be difficult for him to succeed. I feel he is the right guy to help the team to win things. He just needs to work with the new players, the new team and the new coach to adapt his football to a different way of playing."

Chelsea finished four points off the pace last season but Mourinho believes his new-look side, spearheaded by Costa in attack, are in better shape to come out on top come May.

"Last season, we lost the title with the defeats at Palace, Stoke, Newcastle and Everton," Mourinho added. "Will it be a problem for Diego to play at Palace or Stoke? Not at all - I think they will be the matches he will most enjoy."

Both Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have been sold and Mourinho has bolstered his striking resources further with the addition of Drogba on an one-year deal, leading him to declare his satisfaction with the squad at his disposal.

"I have the squad I want to have, the right profile to attack the title," he said

"Arsenal, Liverpool, United and City are all signing players and Tottenham are improving. But I start the season saying we want to be champions.

"I don't like not to win. I don't like it. Finishing third last season was good, but I was not happy. We will go to win the title. We will go for that.

"But this is not Spain or Germany. This is not a league of two. So we know what we want to do. We know what we have to do, to do better, to improve."

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