Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Alvaro Morata: Why losing Diego Costa was not such a big deal

Posted on 1 October 2017 by José Bourbon

Before the start of the season, there were widespread doubts around Alvaro Morata’s ability to adequately replace Diego Costa and become a top Premier League striker. The truth is, when we look at Morata’s statistics this season compared to Diego Costa’s in his first six matches of last season, and also those of his main opponents – Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane – there is no reason to doubt his quality. Sports Gazette take a look about the stats of all five players in the Premier League this season so far.

Total minutes played (not including extra-time periods)

Alvaro Morata = played 487 minutes (=) average of 81 minutes per match

Diego Costa (last season) = played 530 minutes (=) 88 minutes per match

Harry Kane = played 534 minutes (=) average of 89 minutes per match

Sergio Aguero = played 467 minutes (=) average of 78 minutes per match

Romelu Lukaku = played 540 minutes (=) average of 90 minutes per match.


When we talk about top class strikers the first thing that comes to mind is goals. Morata has not disappointed thus far, scoring in his first minute of Premier League football- against Burnley – and notching six goals in as many games. This puts him on a par with the league’s other top scorers: Aguero and Lukaku. Kane is slightly behind with four goals.

For those who thought that he couldn’t surpass Costa, he is proving them wrong: Costa scored five goals in his first six matches last season.


Morata also leads Costa in this area, with two assists in his first six games. In comparison, Costa had supplied only one assist in Chelsea’s opening six games last season. However, he sits behind Aguero, who has 3 assists so far this term. Lukaku has one, whilst Kane is yet to register an assist.

Shooting accuracy

Another category in which Morata leads: he has a 67% shooting accuracy in the Premier League, compared to Lukaku’s 52%, Aguero’s 43% and Harry Kane’s 38%. Diego Costa had the same record as Kane in the first six games of last season – 38%.

Big Chances created

Aguero leads the pack in this area, with six big chances, which, remarkably, is the same amount as Diego Costa managed to register across the whole of last season.
Kane, Lukaku and Morata have all created one.

I would like to confess that during the research for this article I found a statistic that completely surprised me: Diego Costa didn’t receive even one red card during last season. I bet you didn’t know this…

Featured Image - Brian Minkoff, London Pixels