Paul Merson names Chelsea FC’s biggest mistake under Antonio Conte

The Arsenal legend believes Chelsea FC made a mistake selling Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid

Ex-Chelsea FC striker Diego Costa Photo: The Sport Review

Paul Merson believes Chelsea FC made a fatal mistake allowing Diego Costa to leave Stamford Bridge last summer.

The Blues won the Premier League title with two games to spare last season after the west London side finished seven points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.

Costa played a vital role in their title success alongside Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante after a return of 20 goals in the 2016-17 campaign.

The Spain international was allowed to return to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window following a fallout with Antonio Conte.

Costa left a void in the Chelsea FC team that summer signing Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi both struggled to fill in the 2017-18 campaign.

Chelsea FC finished in fifth place in the Premier League table to miss out on a Champions League spot for the second time in three seasons.

However, Eden Hazard’s winner from the penalty spot ensured Chelsea FC were 1-0 winners against Manchester United in the FA Cup final to finish the season with a trophy.

Former Arsenal star Merson believes Costa’s exit was a turning point for Chelsea FC.

“He must have thought he was getting Lukaku to get rid of Costa like he did,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“That’s where the problem started. He thought he was getting Lukaku so let Costa go.”

The Blues lost 3-0 to Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League last weekend.

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