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Who best to replace Diego Costa?

Diego Costa is poised to leave Chelsea
With Diego Costa set to leave in the off-season, who should lead Chelsea’s frontline next season?
With Diego Costa poised to leave Chelsea in the off-season, Antonio Conte needs to find a worthy replacement. The Brazil-born Spain international has been a hit since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2013, scoring 52 goals in the Premier League. Costa is undoubtedly the fulcrum of the Blues' attack and there aren't many better strikers than him. Although Conte would prefer to keep his prize asset, the club are unlikely to turn down a world-record fee for Costa who turns 29 in October. With the former Atletico striker seemingly keen to move on, Conte will need a world class replacement.

The Blues have been strongly linked with moves for Andrea Belotti, Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku, while highly-rated youngsters Tammy Abraham and Bertrand Traore are likely to be sent on loan. Michy Batshuayi, whose goal against West Brom sealed the title, appears to be attracting interest from West Ham and Ligue 1 champions Monaco.

The important question is, who should lead Chelsea’s frontline next season?

Belotti has been superb in the Serie A for Torino this season, scoring 25 goals. The Italian striker is very similar to Costa as he is strong as a bull, holds the ball up well and works hard for the team. However, the 23-year-old will only leave if his £85million buy-out clause is met, which is a huge risk – especially as he was only able to score 12 goals in the last campaign. 

Morata is a top drawer striker who reminds me a lot of the old Fernando Torres. Morata is always chasing balls, making fast intelligent runs and is lethal in front of goal. After thriving as Spain’s main striker at Euro 2016, Morata has had a difficult season, playing second fiddle to Karim Benzema. Although he wasn’t a regular starter, he still bagged 14 goals in La Liga – three more than Benzema. Morata is a striker I really admire, although Chelsea seem to have cooled their interest in him, with AC Milan at the front of the queue for his signature. 

The reason the Blues have cooled their interest is because of Lukaku, who they sold to Everton for £28m in 2014 with Jose Mourinho insisting not to include a buy-back option. Chelsea are now forced to pay millions for the powerful Belgian centre-forward. I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of Lukaku when he was at Chelsea, but he has proven to be a goal machine in the Premier League. The Toffees striker scored 25 goals this season, four behind Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. Lukaku will thrive with Chelsea’s world-class service and I think he’d be Conte’s best option to spearhead the attack next season. 

Written by Chad Nagel