Michael Owen: This one transfer would have won Chelsea the league last season

Diego Costa attempting an overhead volley

Michael Owen believes Chelsea's signing of Diego Costa is 12 months too late.

Chelsea confirmed their signing of Diego Costa yesterday, rubber-stamping the worst kept secret in football.

While the Spanish international did not enjoy a good World Cup, no goals and eliminated at the group stage, his performances for Atletico Madrid were sensational.

He fired Atletico to their first La Liga triumph in 30 years, scoring 27 league goals. He added to this with eight Champions League goals in nine games.

For Chelsea he answers a major position of need, and the £32 million fee looks like a bargain when taking into account Manchester United spent almost an equal amount on an 18-year-old left-back.

Former United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen has hailed the deal, and suggests it as a transfer which could have won the Blues the title last season.

A look at the poor contribution of Chelsea's three strikers last season, in comparison to Liverpool's two main men, adds credence to Owen's claim.

Luis Suarez Liverpool 31
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 21
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea 9
Demba Ba Chelsea 5
Fernando Torres Chelsea 5

Eto'o has moved on, released yesterday, while Ba nor Torres can be considered long-term options at the club, and it would not be surprising to see either move on last summer.

Chelsea finished only four points behind eventual champions Manchester City, and you have to imagine that with Costa's contribution for Atletico last season added to the mix they would have overhauled them.

It's only educated guesswork however, and we will see next season how he gets on with the likes of Oscar, Hazard, and Willian as a supporting cast, and of course Cesc Fabregas. In theory it cannot go wrong.

The one footnote to Owen's claim, is Romelu Lukaku, who scored 15 goals in 31 games on loan at Everton. If Chelsea had kept him, the issue regarding Costa may just be a moot point.

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