When Diego Costa wasn’t playing football during his debut season at Chelsea, which was quite regularly, he could be found either in the sick bay or the sin bin.
Yet, despite these frequent stints on the sidelines, the Spain international managed to score 20 goals to help the Blues claim a fourth Premier League crown.
For an English football rookie, a bulky haul of this calibre deserves special commendation and it stands to reason that if he can stay fit, the Brazilian-born net bulger will notch an even better total this time around.
This being the case, his 11/2 second favouritism to win the 2015/16 Golden Boot must appeal to the punting masses.
Here’s how Costa measures up in accordance with the news.bwin.com parameters assessing top scorer credentials.
Premier League Pedigree
A seasoned Premier League campaigner he is not, but Costa bagged at a rate of 0.76 strikes per outing during his maiden term in England’s top tier, almost an identical average to 2014/15’s leading marksman Sergio Aguero, who recorded a 0.78 mean.
Radamel Falcao, whom Costa provided support for during the pair’s Atletico Madrid days, may have been brought in on loan, but this hasn’t altered the final third pecking order at Chelsea.
The reputation-rebuilding Colombian has signed on loan and it’s unlikely Jose Mourinho will risk upsetting the incumbent line-leader by giving his starting spot to a player who may not be at the club in a year’s time.
This leaves just Loic Remy, who couldn’t nail down first reserve status with only veteran Didier Drogba for company throughout the previous season, as the only other rival for first-team football.
In 18-assist Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea boast the Premier League’s most creative player from last season.
There is no one superior to provide Costa with the bullets, but he’s not the only master playmaker in the Blues ranks; Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian can be equally devastating when it comes to carving defences.
If Costa is to fail on his quest to top the scoring charts, it’s his affection for the physio’s attention that will cost him.
As if his candy floss hamstrings weren’t enough, the Spain ace has the temper of Taz the Tasmanian Devil in a traffic jam, meaning even the most inoffensive of playground jibes can enrage him to the point of resorting to violence.