Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has claimed summer signing Diego Costa "has the material to be" the new joker at Stamford Bridge following the departure of David Luiz.
Even though the Brazil international defender failed to convince Jose Mourinho he deserved a place in Chelsea's back line ahead of John Terry and Gary Cahill last season, Luiz was much appreciated by his teammates in the dressing room due to his humour, charisma and wit.
Mourinho opted not to sign another centre-half to replace him but, according to Ivanovic, instead bolstered the squad with a new joker in Costa.
The Spaniard is not only a clinical striker, he also appears to be a funny guy despite not yet learning English.
"The best [joker] was definitely David Luiz. He had such charisma and such power to imitate people and to make fun of others and himself," Ivanovic said to FourFourTwo.
"At this point, I think that Diego Costa has the material to be his successor. He's still new, maybe he is not yet fully relaxed, but I guess that he could be the next big joker."
Ivanovic also praised Costa's adaptation to the Premier League pace – with the striker scoring 11 goals in 11 appearances – and his partnership with Cesc Fabregas.
He said: "I knew that they were top players, so I can't say that they have been better than I expected. They proved their class. They were key signings.With them, things clicked and the puzzle came together,
"Cesc with his pace, aggression and experience from Champions League, and Diego with his coolness in front of goal and his efficiency – they immediately made an impact."