Those who only saw a few of Diego Costa’s appearances at the back end of last season and at the World Cup with Spain might have wondered what all the fuss was about.
As Atletico Madrid played their crucial final matches and Spain crashed out in Brazil during the group stages, the forward looked miles away from being worth £32m.
However, dismissing him on the basis of a handful of injury-hampered matches was always a dangerous proposition, and his start at Chelsea has made a mockery of any doubters.
Costa has bagged seven goals in just four Premier League matches so far, with his hat-trick against Swansea City showcasing the lethal predatory skills the Blues have missed in recent years.
That treble saw Costa’s odds to be the Premier League’s top scorer drop to 11/10, and some might even view that as generous given that the Spaniard is four goals clear of the pack.
However, the race is far from run, and both Sergio Aguero at 5/1 and Daniel Sturridge at 10/1 look fine bets at generous prices despite Costa’s fast start.
No Premier League newbie signed from abroad has ever claimed the top scorer crown, with even the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luis Suarez needing a year or two to settle in before claiming the title.
In addition, Costa is a perennial injury doubt, with Jose Mourinho leaving fans guessing as to whether he’ll make the pitch in almost every week he’s been at Chelsea so far.
The Brazilian striker made a similarly fast start to the year at Atletico last term, but slowed down considerably in the second half of the season, with just eight of his 27 La Liga goals coming after Christmas.
Aguero and Sturridge have injury troubles of their own to contend with, but the Argentine in particular has shown he doesn’t need that much time on the pitch to produce the goods.
The Manchester City player’s 17 league goals last term came in just 23 matches, and he already has three this season despite playing a mere 191 minutes.
Meanwhile Sturridge, who finished second to Suarez in the charts last season with 21, is surely overpriced at 10/1 as the focal point of a prolific Liverpool attack.
Both the Reds and City scored over 100 goals last season in the league, and if Mourinho decides he’s had enough of Chelsea’s poor recent defensive displays, the Blues could tighten up, hampering Costa’s chances of being top scorer.
Only four sides have conceded more goals than Chelsea’s six in the league so far this season, with Everton the one top-ten team to have let in more than the current league leaders.