Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas had today opened up on Diego Costa’s departure from the club, claiming that ‘in recent years, there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.’
On the move
Following months of speculation surrounding the future of Spanish striker Costa, the 28-year-old was finally granted a return to former club Atletico Madrid last week, after Chelsea and the La Liga giants agreed on a fee in the region of £60 million.
Though Costa was always viewed as something of a ticking time bomb by fans, a number of the controversial star’s former Chelsea teammates have spoken out since his departure was announced, paying tribute to the Spaniard as both a player on the pitch and person off of it.
‘Always a friend’
The latest Blues star to do as much is Cesc Fabregas, who has plied his trade alongside Costa for both Chelsea and the Spanish national team for the past 3 years.
Speaking in an interview with Marca today, Fabregas opened up on his on-pitch relationship with Costa, as well as why he was such a key presence in the Blues’ dressing room.
‘It’s a shame for him more than anyone. Diego knew that signing for Atletico meant he could not play for a few months.’
‘It has been a difficult situation for him, for Chelsea. He deserves to be on the field.’
‘Diego is always [a friend] and never a rival. In recent years there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.’
‘I understood him myself perfectly. He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them.’
‘He gives a lot to the team. It is not only the Diego you see on the field. He is a character that greatly encourages the group.’