Atletico Madrid powerhouse Diego Costa is one of the January window’s most sought after strikers, and Arsenal are just one of a variety of clubs linked to the La Liga star since the summer.
The Brazilian-born front-man is amid a sensational rise, starting with last term’s Copa del Rey haul of eight goals in eight games, as the Matress-Makers went on to claim the Spanish accolade.
This year, Costa has been filling the void left behind at Radamel Falcao at Vincente Calderon, recording a prolific return of 21 goals in 22 games from all competitions, including four goals in three Champions League outings.
Measuring in at 6 foot 2, broad-shouldered and exceptionally quick, the 25 year-old’s powerful physique makes him an ideal candidate for the Gunners’ lone striker role in their customary 4-2-3-1 formation.
He’s also famed for his surging runs at opposition defences and ability to bring others into the game, best represented by averages of 1.6 key passes and 1.4 successful dribbles per match this season.
Costa’s persistent threat to opposition defences has furthermore drawn 64 fouls since the summer.
There’s no doubt the Atletico forward would be the North London outfit’s preferred choice, bearing in mind his relative youth, proven goalscoring record in the Spanish top flight and adaptability to Arsene Wenger’s current tactical philosophy. His speculated release clause, believed to be around £30million, is by no means out of Arsenal’s financial grasp either.
But the biggest issue remains convincing Costa to quit the Spanish capital midseason. Atletico are separated from La Liga leaders Barcelona on goal difference alone, and were the first club to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League this season, where they face AC Milan.