With the winter transfer window upon us and a massive amount of teams looking for a viable option to lead their attack, many teams will be turning their attention to Atletico Madrid and Diego Costa. A red-hot striker this season, Costa has paired himself with the best defense in La Liga to move Atletico to the second spot in the league and also propelled himself to the top of Spain’s striker depth chart (despite being Brazilian…you work it out). Will Costa leave Atletico or will he be the first big-name striker to stick with the Madrid-based club instead of allowing La Liga to return to the two-horse race that we were all used to.
For anyone shopping for Costa, there are some definite thoughts that every club should keep in mind before splashing the cash. First, this is only the second season that Costa has scored in double digits. He is also relatively unproven in European competition and most clubs that would want Costa will want him to play in the Champions League. Although someone will definitely make a rushed purchase in order to beat some of the bigger clubs to him, Costa is the type of player that should have at least one more season in top form before he warrants a big money transfer.
On the flip-side, Costa has some serious upside. He is only 25 years old and could still improve greatly despite averaging a goal per game this campaign. Another big factor is that Costa has constantly been floating around between teams on loans and he could benefit greatly from a club giving him some sense of stability. Add in that he will probably start getting international experience with Spain and Costa can only grow as a player.
One big aspect of this story would be if Madrid decided to keep Costa. In all of La Liga, any team that has a decent player seems to quickly lose that player to either Barcelona/Madrid or another larger club outside of their country. However, with Atletico sitting so high up in the table with a genuine chance to snag the league this season, it could be a huge first step in establishing themselves as a top Spanish dog for years to come. Although the defense could still return next season and be dominant, the best clubs in La Liga are the ones that can score at will. Personally, it would be great to see La Liga expand the title chase and put more pressure on Barcelona and Real within their own league.
Given how quickly teams are willing to write a check for a new player, it seems highly likely that Costa will either join a new team this month or during the summer. However, the story of this player has only truly begun. At 25, Costa has the capability to become one of the world’s greats and he also has the possibility to become one of the world’s biggest flops. Will Costa be heading for “greener” pastures or will he decide to avoid the career path of Fernando Torres and Falcao?
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