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Chelsea would be above Man United, Liverpool with Diego Costa - Mills

Chelsea would be above Man United, Liverpool with Diego Costa - Mills

Chelsea have missed the influence of Costa this term - Mills

Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills believes Chelsea would have been vying for the runner-up spot in the Premier League, had they not parted ways with Diego Costa earlier in the season.

The Spain international had a furious bust-up with Antonio Conte midway through the previous campaign, and this pretty much put an end to their relationship during the summer.

Costa's transfer was initially held up due to Atletico Madrid being on a transfer ban, but a deal was eventually agreed in September for the marksman to join the club in 2018.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Mills believes Chelsea lost the commanding influence of Costa in the forward line, and this has hampered their form in this season's Premier League.

He said: "I know they’ve brought in Morata, who’s a good player. But when you lose a player like Diego Costa, his goals, the way that he plays, the way he leads the line.

“Willian and Hazard were brilliant yesterday (against West Ham). If you would have put Costa in that, if you put Costa in that Chelsea team, they’re probably second in the league at the moment."

Chelsea have accumulated just three victories in the league since the turn of the year, and this has dropped them 10 points outside of the top four. The Blues are now just three points ahead of six-placed Arsenal.