Diego Costa has ‘got everything’ and would occupy a standing in the global game alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if he could run at opponents, claims Stuart Pearce.
The former England international considers the Chelsea striker to be in ‘unstoppable’ form at present, with 10 goals netted in 13 Premier League appearances.
That return is enough to have him sat joint-top of the scoring charts, with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero pushing him hard in the race for the 2016-17 Golden Boot.
Both men are likely to have a big say in what their respective employers achieve this season, with their firepower set to be crucial in the tussle for major honours.
Pearce believes Costa will be ‘key’ for Chelsea, with the Spain international sitting only fractionally behind the superstars of Barcelona and Real Madrid that are held up as the finest footballers on the planet.
Pressed on who the Blues’ leading man is at present, with Eden Hazard also back to his best, Pearce said in the Daily Express: "The unstoppable Costa, at this moment in time.
"For me, he's got everything. The only thing he hasn't got is the ability to go past somebody one-on-one like a [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo.
"Apart from that he's got a great work ethic for the team, he's got a great eye for a goal, he links play, his movement's clever.
"He's got everything, he is so key for Chelsea."
Costa has helped to fire Antonio Conte’s side to the top of the Premier League table, and Pearce sees them staying there if they are able to leave the Etihad Stadium with something in a crunch clash on Saturday – with fixtures against West Brom, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke carrying them through to the end of the calendar year.
He added: "If you take Chelsea, seven victories on the bounce, their next games after this one are really key matches. Five games, all winnable.
"If they can get a result, whether it be a point or three, come New Year's Day they'll be top of the league."