COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Chelsea forward Diego Costa has been the best player in the Premier League this season.
The 28-year-old is well known for being a fiery competitor and has been involved in some controversial moments during his time in England, but has let his football do the talking this campaign.
Blues boss Antonio Conte has managed to get the best out of the Spain international and he is the main reason why Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League.
Philippe Coutinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard have all shone so far in the league, but Costa has been the standout performer in England.
The striker has scored 10 goals and supplied three assists in the opening 12 league games, contributing directly to more goals than any other player in the division.
He started this season with a bang and scored late winners in 2-1 victories against West Ham and Watford to give Chelsea six points from their opening two games.
Costa netted a crucial brace in the 2-2 draw against Swansea in September, which is the only time he has scored more than once in a game this season.
The forward also scored in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool and remained the club’s only positive player during a difficult period.
Chelsea manager Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation after a 3-0 defeat against Arsenal and his side have won their last six games without conceding, but that has not had an impact on the influence of Costa.
Costa scored in victories over Hull, Leicester, Southampton and Everton as he continued to prove impossible for defenders to deal with.
He scored his 10th league goal of the season in the narrow 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough on Sunday and reacted quickest in the box to give his side the three points.
Costa has developed into one of the best strikers in the world and has become a lethal finisher, as well as providing a great target man and a surprising amount of pace.
The Spaniard is in pole position to land the PFA Player of the Year award if he continues his recent form and will hope to win his second Premier League title with Chelsea this season.
In other Chelsea news, Paul Merson has predicted the club’s upcoming match against Tottenham.