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At the moment, Costa is the best striker in the English Premier League, and it’s just not about the goals. From springing back to life after a disastrous campaign in front of goal last season to his newly-found decent conduct, Costa’s 10 goals in 12 games haven’t come about by excellent scoring instincts alone. They are as a result of motivation and discipline.
Can he be compared with one of Europe’s most consistent top strikers of the last half a decade Robert Lewandowski, though? Both are charged with the task of leading their sides to glory this term, and were both Chelsea targets in 2014 before the Spaniard arrived, while the Pole moved to Bayern Munich.
How have they fared thus far in their respective leagues and for their clubs?
Costa has been in fine form this term and just doesn’t look like he will stop having a hand in most of Chelsea’s goals anytime soon.
The 28-year-old has 10 goals and laid down 3 others in 12 games. No player has had a hand in as much goals in the top flight.
In the Bundesliga, Lewandowski is doing fairly well by his standards, and in 11 games, he has found the back of the net on 7 occasions and helped teammates to do so twice.
The 28-year-old Poland international has created 10 chances this season. A considerably decent return for a striker. He also has made 2 key passes per game thus far.
Costa trails in only that regard, making just 1.7 key passes per game. However, he has double of Lewandowski’s chances created.
In terms of duels contested, Robert has won 51%. He has won just 1 tackle out of 6 attempted, completed 15 of 30 attempted take-ons and won 17 of 36 aerial duels.
He averages 1 defensive action per game and has maintained his cool all through as he is yet to be booked in all league games played till date.
As regards to that, Costa just recently subdued his temper and on-field theatrics cum troubles. He has 4 yellow cards thus far, but has gone the last 6 games without a booking.
Defensively, he contributes by making 2 defensive actions per game and has won 40% of his duels. He has won just 2 of his attempted 20 tackles, succeeded in completing 25 of his 69 attempted take-ons and won 11 of 43 headed duels contested.
Of the pair, Costa has the lower of efforts wasted in front of goal as he has averaged just 0.8 shots off target per game, compared to Lewandowski’s 1.9 shots. Costa averages 3.3 shots per game, while the Bayern star averages 4.4 per game.
In terms of shot accuracy, the Chelsea forward has had 69% precision this term. Lewandowski has just 44%. That reflects in the huge gulf between both players’ shots off targets.
The Polish averages 76% pass accuracy and 12 metres pass length. The Spain international, on the hand, averages 74% pass accuracy and his average passes cover more distance at 15 meters.
From the look of things, Costa has been better than Lewandowski by some distance this season, and if he keeps getting better, he could be on his way to becoming the best striker on the planet hands down.
Note: The article was written prior to GW 12