Costa is like Drogba: He's the key man
Current Chelsea striker in same mould as Blues legend Didier
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola believes that Diego Costa has become as important to Antonio Conte's chances of winning the Premier League title as Didier Drogba was to a series of Stamford Bridge managers.
Zola has watched Chelsea, who meet Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow, move to the top of the Premier League table with a storming seven-game winning run and reckons that Costa deserves a big chunk of the credit.
"He is very similar to what Drogba was before. He is very tall, very strong, so you can give him high balls and he will deal with them," said Zola.
"But also he is very skilled with the ball at his feet and he is very fast. So you can see he is good and can play in different ways.
"You can always give him the ball and he will make the most out of this.
"He has been exceptional really, he has scored many goals but his contribution has also been good for the team."
Zola is not surprised that his compatriot Conte is doing so well in the Premier League, yet another successful Italian boss to make good in England.
"The English coaches have always been good. It is also well-known that Italian coaches have always been good," said Zola.
"I think the style suits well in this league - if you have good tactical awareness, you are at an advantage.
"Their tactical knowledge of the game and periods which you work on can make a big difference."