Chelsea captain John Terry has predicted big things from rival-turned-team-mate Diego Costa after the Spain striker’s move to Stamford Bridge was completed.
The Blues on Wednesday announced that Brazilian left-back Felipe Luis is set to move from Atletico Madrid following Costa, whose £32m switch was sealed on Tuesday.
Brazil-born striker Costa impressed in helping Atletico to a first Primera Division title in 18 years last season and guided Los Rojiblancos into the UEFA Champions League final, beating Chelsea in the semi-finals.
Terry saw Costa, whose FIFA World Cup™ performances were hampered by a hamstring injury as Spain exited in the group stages, in close quarters and was impressed.
“First of all, his movement and his strength are really good – I was really surprised by it,” Terry, who is now in his 20th season at Stamford Bridge, told Chelsea’s official website.
“I think everyone remembers the square-up we had in the first ten minutes of the first leg of our semi-final game against Atletico Madrid last season, after which I thought ‘fair play’.
“He holds the ball up very well, he has got great movement and he is really physical, but he is very clever with his strength and the way he uses his body. I think he could be a very good signing for us.”
Filipe Luis agreement reached
Four players who played for Atletico last term could be at Chelsea next season, with Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois back following his three-season loan spell and Costa poised to be joined by Luis, while midfielder Tiago could return to Stamford Bridge.
The arrival of Luis is imminent after an agreement with Atletico was reached, with personal terms to be thrashed out.
A statement published on Chelsea’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Filipe Luis.”
The 28-year-old has an opportunity to replace Ashley Cole as Chelsea’s first-choice left-back in the long-term.
After missing much of the 2013/14 season through injury, former England defender Cole left Chelsea on a free transfer in June and has since joined Roma.
Natural right-back Cesar Azpilicueta proved an able deputy to Cole as Chelsea finished third in the English Premier League, but Luis’ arrival will allow the Spaniard to return to his preferred flank.
Luis joined Atletico from Deportiva La Coruna in 2010 and has made 98 appearances in all competitions for the Madrid side, winning the UEFA Europa League in 2012 and the Copa del Rey in 2013 before becoming a league champion.
He has four Brazil caps and was placed on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s standby list for the 2014 World Cup in his homeland.