Diego Costa starts the new year as both Chelsea's and the Premier League's top goalscorer and has rightly received huge praise from fans and pundits alike due to his personal performances. Yet the striker was the one dishing out the compliments following the Blues' 13th consecutive victory against Stoke City.
Costa had plenty to say about his boss, Antonio Conte, who he also revealed helped keep him at the club during summer when he was considering a move back to Atletico Madrid.
Praise for the Italian
Costa stated what sort of man the Blues' manager is, describing him as a "manager who is not just a boss" as he is constantly, "making jokes with players" which Costa believes is "good" for the squad and their morale. The Spaniard feels that allows him to simply become a "person" who players feel comfortable to "talk with" and "count on in difficult moments."
He went on to claim that Conte is "calm with the players" and he see's players and fans grow to "love him more all the time," which comes as no surprise as his passion for the job bursts out of him on the touchline. However, it isn't all fun and games as Conte has clearly created a complete turnaround at the club and he has managed that by doing things his way, which Costa clearly understands when he said that Conte has "applied his ideas, and things are going well".
During the summer months, rumours were frequent stating that Costa was set to return to Madrid, something he revealed was true, due to "family reasons," insisting it had nothing to do with Chelsea, or the fans, of whom he said there is "a lot of love with".
Thankfully for the Chelsea faithful, their star striker decided to stay in London, which he also credited Conte for, discussing how "important" it was to him when his new boss said he "counted" on him.
Now the relationship between the pair is proving to have deadly results on the pitch and if it continues they could be set to bring silver wear back to Stamford Bridge in the coming months.