It was only a matter of time before Premier League clubs caught on to Diego Costa, as the Atletico Madrid forward is one of the most perfectly suited players for the English game.
They don’t get much more volatile than the Brazilian. There is no middle of the road for him; you either love him or hate him – and by hate, I mean despise. But he’s a good player, a very important player for Atletico Madrid and one who quickly took up the scoring responsibility last season either alongside Radamel Falcao or in place of him.
His 20 goals in all competitions last season was a very good return for Costa’s second real season in an Atletico shirt. He’s been on the books since 2007 but loan spells and even a one-year sale to Valladolid had become the norm for him. Injury disrupted his 2011-12 season before Atletico decided to loan him out to Rayo Vallecano in the January window. It was at the Vallecas where he proved is worth, both to himself and to Diego Simeone. Upon his return to the Vicente Calderon last summer, Costa became something of a symbol for Atletico’s play; far from the most attractive, but unbelievably effective.
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So you can understand Liverpool’s line of thinking by targeting the Brazilian. He’s powerful, a handful and a nuisance. He’ll do a fantastic job of winding up opposition players and fans. He’s the master of that side of the game and will do absolutely everything he can to raise pulses. He certainly sounds like the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez.
But is he the striker Liverpool need if the Uruguayan is indeed off this summer?
Diego Costa can be a real asset to many clubs. The striker was even a topic of debate as to whether he could be the perfect complement to Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain team. The Brazilian, who was previously uncapped, has recently achieved dual nationality.
He’s extremely versatile. He’ll run the channels and create as well as lead the line. And he can, on occasion, mix the rough with the absolutely sublime. His goal against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final, under enormous pressure at 1-0 down, was absolutely wonderful. He displayed pace, composure and the finishing ability of his former strike partner Falcao as he coolly drove the ball into the corner of the net from outside of the box. Moreover, his first of two goals on the last day of last season against Zaragoza was an exceptional volley, a display of Costa’s technique that can often be forgotten.
Costa is the mould of player that Brendan Rodgers will certainly want in his team. The player’s ability to interchange roles in the front three would see him as a key component of a likely Suarez-less Liverpool team. He doesn’t use elegance to get past defenders, but rather the muscle and strength of an on-pitch bulldozer. He certainly has the fiery makeup to add a new level of aggression to this Liverpool side.
The thing is, while £21 million is a huge amount of cash for Atletico to receive, it’s simply not in their interests to sell the player. He’s settled in Madrid, but these links to the Premier League should be the kick the club’s board need to make Costa one of the most valued members of the squad in terms of wages. At 24, this isn’t the last time foreign clubs will come in for him, and even though Costa has Champions League football this season and a manager in Simeone who had plenty of parallels with him during his playing days, there is such a thing as being massively undervalued.
At £21 million, there is a lot of upside that could be had from Liverpool landing Costa this summer. His 20 goals last season were compiled from him playing in various positions in the attack, sometimes from the wing and sometimes as a second striker. Imagine what he could do if he was made a team’s No.1 striker.
Would Diego Costa be a good signing for Liverpool?
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