Jamie Redknapp has described Antonio Conte’s decision to sell Diego Costa as his “biggest mistake” at Chelsea FC.
The Italian coach is coming under intense pressure at the west London side following a 4-1 loss to London rivals Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday night.
Indeed, Chelsea FC have now lost their last two Premier League games against Bournemouth and Watford after conceding seven times.
The Blues signed France international Olivier Giroud in a £21m deal from Arsenal in the January transfer window to add more depth up front for the defending champions.
Summer signing Alvaro Morata has struggled with a loss of confidence and form over the past couple of months to leave Chelsea FC rather blunted up front.
Costa moved to Atletico Madrid on loan back in September with view to a permanent transfer at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The controversial Spanish forward scored 40 times in Chelsea’s title-winning campaigns under Jose Mourinho and then Conte.
Former Liverpool midfielder Redknapp believes Conte should have retained Costa’s services despite the pair sharing a fractious relationship.
“The biggest mistake Antonio Conte made was getting rid of Diego Costa,” Redknapp told the Daily Mail.
“With the Spain striker, Chelsea were a horrible, aggressive team to play against. They would use every trick in the book to win matches.
“You could not bully Costa but without him, this Chelsea team are too nice.
“They have lost not only their edge but also their ruthlessness in front of goal. After a bright start, striker Alvaro Morata has struggled and Chelsea have scored nine fewer goals than at the same stage last season.
“Think back to that string of stalemates at the turn of the year. Those could have been avoided with a forward like Costa, who specialised in grabbing those crucial goals in tight games.”
Chelsea FC are in fourth place in the Premier League table and a mere point ahead of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur.
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