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José Mourinho: Diego Costa can be as good as Didier Drogba

Diego Costa in friendly action for Chelsea
Action Images

The Chelsea manager has tipped Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa to be a success at Stamford Bridge following his £32 million move from Atlético Madrid.

Diego Costa scored 36 goals in all competitions last season and his new manager, José Mourinho, believes that, with a few improvement to his game, he can be as good as club legend Didier Drogba.

"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 ESPN 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," completed the 51-year-old.


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