Chelsea's Antonio Conte doesn't need to speak with Diego Costa about lack of goals: 'I am not concerned'

Vaishali Bhardwaj
Goal drought: Diego Costa has scored four times in all competitions since 22 January: Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has insisted he doesn't feel the need to speak with Diego Costa over his lack of league goals in recent weeks, insisting the striker is doing "what I want" during games.

Costa has scored just three goals in the Premier League since 22 January, one week after he had been omitted from Conte's squad for Chelsea's game with Leicester City following a training ground row and a mammoth offer from China.

The Spain international struggled to convert his chances against Crystal Palace last Saturday before enduring another quiet game in front of goal in the 2-1 win over Manchester City in midweek.

But Conte insisted on Friday that he isn't concerned with Costa's form, saying the 28-year-old brings much more to his Chelsea team than just goals.

When asked about Costa's lack of goals in the league in recent weeks, Conte said: "No, I'm not concerned about this.

"It can happen. For me, the most important thing is he is showing me great commitment and behaviour during the games, and is doing what I want. That's very important.

"He was also unlucky in a lot of circumstances. But a player like Diego Costa can score in every game, and I'm sure he can do this."

When then questioned about the qualities Costa brings to the team aside from his goals, Conte replied: "His experience, his character and his personality. That's very important for us and the team. Also, Diego won [trophies] in the past and he has good experience.

"Does he lose confidence? Goals are very important for forwards. But I think he knows that, for us, he's an important player if he is scoring or if he isn't. He must continue with his commitment and then I'm sure he'll score.

"I don't think so [Conte needs to speak with Costa]. I speak with all my players and, if I'm not happy with someone's commitment or behaviour, then I would speak to him.

"But if he's not scoring? I repeat. He's playing good football and doing what I want."