After watching Diego Costa pester Gareth McAuley into giving up possession then neatly curling home, I now believe that he has become one of the premier league’s game changing players.
When Chelsea previously won the title with his goals, he was a great finisher and class A aggressor, but now he is carrying Conte’s men to the top of the premiership. This, for me, is the difference between a great player and a world-class player; he is in such good form that he is able to fashion chances for himself without the need of many creative players.
Costa’s main competition resides about three and a half hours up the M40; Sergio Aguero, who I would describe as the premier league’s benchmark for a world class striker. He one of the best natural finishers England has ever seen because his accuracy and consistency is simply outstanding; give him any chance at any angle and 99% of the time he will calmly slot it home.
For me, his key weakness lies in his inability to singlehandedly carry his team by tormenting the defence into submission. But after much thought, I am not sure who I think the better striker is so I am going to compare them head to head to see who is the premier league’s best centre forward.
If we simply look at goals scored this season then it is clear that Costa is ahead in this respect with 12 goals compared to Aguero’s 10. However, I also like the factor in the number of assists that strikers get because I feel it can reflect extra contribution to the side such as chance creation and levels of pressing. Costa also betters Aguero this season with 5 assists compared to 0 in the premier league.
I believe the number of assists quite important in determining who is the better centre forward because 5 assists suggests that Costa is also adept at bringing his other players into the game whereas the stats suggest Aguero prefers to poach and wait for the chances to come to him.
This for me is the key difference in play style between the two. Aguero is the ultimate poacher and finisher; he always keeps a cool head and will take nearly all chances you give him.
Costa is the bully who presses the other team into submission and is not only a great finisher but is able to create his own chances as well as bring other players into the game. This is why for me, Costa has got so much better recently; the stats show that he is becoming a world class game changer.
One thing I’d also like to look at is the nasty streak that all the best forwards have, that spark of aggression that can ignite and can even win a game. Suarez, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are all players who possess this rare ability.
I’d say that Costa is one of the best if not the master at irritating and being a nuisance for the other side. I think back to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last season when he managed to get Gabriel Paulista sent off after pushing down Laurent Koscienly and only picking up a booking in the process. As much as people hate him for events like this, for him, it works a treat.
Aguero however has the aggression but doesn’t tend to use it in the right way; trying to kill David Luiz when your team is two goals down and being suspended until the New year is just utter stupidity. When your team needs you to stay fit to make up the gap between the top you don’t let your frustration get the better of you and further let your team slip away from the premier league leaders. In this respect, Costa is without a doubt better.
I think a fair conclusion is that Costa is a much better team player whereas Aguero is a better finisher. For me, Costa offers much more to the team than Aguero does in that he is not only able to finish well but he is able to create his own chances and make chances for others by bullying the defence. I think it is therefore acceptable to say that at the moment, the bully beats the poacher but that could quite easily change as the season rolls on.