CHELSEA jet out to join Diego Costa in Madrid today.
This isn’t however a rekindling of friendships, more a coincidental twist in one of the longest, and messiest transfer sagas of the summer.
Unless you’ve lived in a cave since June you’ll be more than aware that our angry man up front was deemed surplus to requirements by Conte, who dumped him by text, much to the annoyance of the fiery Brazil-born Spaniard.
Cue the obligatory player strike and non-return to Cobham, Costa stayed in his hometown in Brazil while seeming to call the shots about where he was going next, namely a return to Atletico.
Normally in these situations the selling club is forced to take a lesser fee knowing the power is with the buyer, however in this case Chelsea held firm and are to be congratulated if the reported £67million fee is to be believed.
Interesting then that the transfer is agreed the same week we head out to the impressive looking new home, the Wanda Metropolitano, to face his new and former-former employers.
Diego of course won’t be cleared to play until January 2018 as Atletico are serving a transfer ban.
But I wonder he will be in the ground, watching on, possibly with an Atletico scarf or similar to state his new loyalties.
Costa has said this week he holds no hard feelings towards Conte or Chelsea, which was nice of him.
Sadly though his behaviour has tainted what should be remembered an impressive three seasons in the Premier League for him.
So with Chelsea rolling into town after the sideshow has finally ended, the main event is something to look forward to, even if with some trepidation.
Atletico are no pushovers, they’re currently ranked second in the Uefa coefficient scoring behind only Real Madrid, and have a formidable record in Europe over the past few seasons, especially at home.
They are in my mind the most ‘Chelsea’ like team in the competition, they play a very quick and high pressing game, with a very compact defensive unit, and lightning fast strikers.
We will have to be on top form to even think about getting a result there, though that’s not to say it’s impossible.
In Antoine Greizmann they have one of the best strikers in Europe, Angel Correa is their main threat at present and not forgetting they have Chelsea old boy ‘Nando Torres, who despite his advancing years is still very much a fan-favourite and a danger when in the mood.
Chelsea though have shown we also have one of the best strikers around at present in Alvaro Morata, a player on form for club and country, and one who will know this Atletico defence from his time with Real.
Make no mistake this will be the toughest match we face in the group stage, let’s hope that when the final whistle blows the headlines will be about our new golden boy, and we can lay the ghost of our Brazilian bruiser to rest once and for all.