Diego who? Atletico Madrid new boy outperforms Chelsea striker

Mario Mandzukic Bayern

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has made the supporters forget about former idol Diego Costa.

Atletico Madrid new boy Mario Mandzukic has been in fine form this season, helping Los Colchoneros deal with loss of former top scorer Diego Costa.

After winning the La Liga title last season, Atleti boss Diego Simeone was tasked with the difficult job of replacing the inevitable departures of a number of top players.

Chelsea acquired three of the Spanish club's key men from last season: on-loan shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois, highly-rated full Filipe Luis and top scorer Diego Costa.

The latter notched 36 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions last season, prompting the Blues to shell out a reported £32 million for his services over the summer – money many observers deem as well spent.

His form in West London this season has been nothing short of fabulous, but has he been outshone by the man the Madrid-based outfit chose to replace him?

Croatian international Mandzukic may have started the season slowly, but his recent form has gone some way in making the Vicente Calderon faithful forget all about their former idol Costa.

  TeamGoals GAMEShots GAMEKey Passes GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Diego Costa Chelsea 0.92 3.25 1.75 12 1,006
Mario Mandzukic Atletico Madrid 0.5 2.4 0.8 12 926

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, both strikers have made a positve start to their respective league campaigns though Costa has certainly made the bigger impact domestically.

The Brazilian-born striker has netted 11 Premier League goals in 12 appearances - including seven in his first four outings - helping the Blues sustain an early lead at the top of the table.

While former Bayern Munich ace Mandzukic has only found the net six times in the Spanish top flight, his form in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League has been one to marvel at.

  TeamGoals GAMEShots GAMEKey Passes GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Mario Mandzukic Atletico Madrid 1 2.4 0.2 5 389
Diego Costa Chelsea 0 3.25 0.25 4 217

In Europe, 26-year-old Costa has yet to find the back of the net for Jose Mourinho's men whereas Mandzukic has struck five times in as many matches, despite firing in less shots.

His clinical finishing has been on of his most impressive traits, with 11 of his total 12 strikes this season being first-time finishes - no extra touches or hesitation required.

As a result of his early-season success in all competitions, the general consensus in Spain is that Costa has been outperformed by his successor.

It surprised many to see Bavarian giants Bayern Munich allow their former top scorer to leave for a reported €22 million, and Mandzukic's impact this season may make Pep Guardiola's side regret that decision for some time to come.

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