Gianfranco Zola believes Diego Costa has been "exceptional" for Chelsea and feels his play is just like that of club icon Didier Drogba.
The Spain international has 10 Premier League goals this season, putting him joint-top of the charts along with Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero.
Chelsea legend Zola - who played at Stamford Bridge between 1996 and 2003 - has been delighted to watch Costa's progress since he signed for the club from Atletico Madrid in 2014.
"He is certainly one of them," Zola told Omnisport when asked if Costa was the league's best striker.
"He is very similar to what Drogba was before. He is very tall, very strong, so you can give him high balls and he will handle them.
"But also he is very skilled with the ball at his feet and he is very fast. So you can see he is good and can play in different ways.
"You can always give him the ball and he will make the most out of this. He has been exceptional really, he has scored many goals but his contribution has also been good for the team."
Chelsea sit top of the Premier League after 13 matches and Zola is unsurprised to see another Italian manager in Antonio Conte thrive in England ahead of Saturday's crucial away match against third-placed City.
He added: "The English coaches have always been good. It is also well-known that Italian coaches have always been good.
"I think the style suits well in this league - if you have good tactical awareness, you are at an advantage.
"Their tactical knowledge of the game and periods which you work on can make a big difference."