Statistical Review of Arsenal’s Transfer Target: Diego Costa

Hi-res-456888819-diego-costa-of-club-atletico-de-madrid-celebrates-after_crop_north

One of the most feared strikers in Europe this season

In as much as I’m a thoroughbred fan of Arsenal Football Club, Atletico Madrid is one team I really admire on the world stage. The club has had it’s fair share of success in the Europa League and Spanish Copa del Rey in recent times, but the club is renowned for one key feature down the years – possessing a lethal striker, selling him off and replacing him with another striker outstanding quality.

From 2001 to 2007, the club had a certain young Fernando Torres coming and he was labeled as the next best thing in Spanish football but when he was poached by Liverpool, the funds were invested in Sergio Aguero from Independiente and Diego Forlan from Villarreal.

Both players endeared themselves to the Atletico fans but they both departed in 2011, and just when the fans thought that the goals weren’t going to come on a consistent basis, Radamel Falcao appeared out of the blue and blasted in 70 goals in 91 appearances. When a goalscoring poacher like Falcao left for the greens at AS Monaco, the club swooped for a renowned poacher like David Villa but another player has stepped up the plate for the Spanish giants this season.

Diego Costa arrived in Atletico in 2010 after several loan spells with his parent club, SC Braga. Arriving as nothing but a back up to Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan, the games were hard to come by for the Brazilian but an injury to Aguero in September 2010 paved the way for Costa to get a couple of games under his belt and he managed to score eight goals in his debut campaign for his club.

Diego Costa suffered a major knee injury in his second season with the club and upon his return in the winter, he was loaned out to Rayo Vallecano where he showed a prolific run of goalscoring form scoring nine goals in 16 games. Last season, Diego Costa played the entire campaign as Atletico’s leading striker (following the exits of Forlan and Aguero in the 2011/12 season) and in his first full season with the club, he scored 20 goals in 44 appearances.

The acquisition of David Villa this season was meant to put a dent in Diego Costa’s progress but he has stepped up to become the alpha-dog in Atletico’s attack. Listed below are his key stats this season (via WhoScored) in the Liga BBVA and UEFA Champions League.

 

Liga BBVA

Champions League

Appearances (subs)

15 (1)

3

Goals

17

4

Assists

1

1

Total Shots (Shots per Game)

52 (3.3)

13 (4.3)

Total Key Passes (Key Passes per Game)

26 (1.6)

3 (1)

Total Successful Dribbles (Dribbles per Game)

22 (1.4)

9 (3)

Total Offsides (Offsides per Game)

15 (0.9)

-

Total Passes Attempted (Accurate Passes)

395 (307)

78 (59)

Pass Completion Percentage

77.7%

75.6%

Diego Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo are the joint top scorers in the Liga BBVA with 17 goals each. A certain Luis Suarez in England has the same amount of goals but he has played lesser League games than both leading forwards in the Liga BBVA. Diego Costa’s confidence in front of goal is really amazing and in just 16 Liga BBVA games, he has attempted 52 shots with 17 finding the back of the net.

His stats also show that he’s never afraid to take on an opponent in an attempt to dribble him but he averages at least one offside per game, which isn’t half bad. His passing stats aren’t too great in the League and Europe but he can be forgiven because he does his primary job for his team which is scoring goals.

It’s now time to compare Diego Costa’s stats (League only) with Arsenal’s leading striker, Olivier Giroud.

 

Diego Costa

Olivier Giroud

League Appearances (subs)

15 (1)

15

Goals

17

7

Assists

1

4

Total Shots (Shots per Game)

52 (3.3)

55 (3.7)

Total Key Passes (Key Passes per Game)

26 (1.6)

20 (1.3)

Total Successful Dribbles (Dribbles per Game)

22 (1.4)

10 (0.7)

Total Offsides (Offsides per Game)

15 (0.9)

18 (1.2)

Total Passes Attempted (Accurate Passes)

395 (307)

475 (317)

Pass Completion Percentage

77.7%

66.7%

Giroud has played almost an equal amount of League games with Diego Costa but the Brazilian is better off with 10 goals more. Giroud actually attempts more shots per game than Diego Costa but his shooting accuracy is quite questionable. Giroud gets caught offside more than his Brazilian counterpart and for his passing stats, be the judge of that.

Arsenal has been heavily linked with a move for Diego Costa in the January transfer window (via Mail Online) and it is also believed that he has a release clause of £32 million. He’s currently being watched by Arsenal’s scouting staff and I’d expect them to come back to North London with positive reviews of their transfer target.

However, it seems really impossible for the Spanish club to let their prized asset depart in January as he’s very instrumental to their plans this season. Unlike previous campaigns where Atletico settled for just qualifying for the Champions League, they are currently challenging for the title with Barcelona and they recently qualified to the Round of 16 in the Champions League, and have engaged themselves in a double date with AC Milan.

He has also been involved in an international tussle between Spain and Brazil and it seems likely that he’d represent the defending world champions in the forthcoming World Cup. With the Brazilian pledging his allegiance to a nation where he currently plies his trade, I don’t see him leaving to go abroad when he has become a vital part of the club’s plans.

Well, Atletico shared the same thoughts about Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Falcao but we all know that they are currently not wearing the red and white stripes of the Madrid-based outfit.

This just goes to say that it’s all about the money and if Arsenal really wants Diego Costa, they can go all Ozil on him. I’m sure you get my drift.

Sayonara.

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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on December 20, 2013, in Arsenal, Football, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Izuchukwu Okosi, Lagos, Nigeria

    I would love to see Diego Costa play for Arsenal but the thoughts of Atletico Madrid management must be: Which top striker is available in the winter(as replacement). With the World Cup close, I doubt the Brazilian turned Spaniard would want to leave, for now though

    Like

  2. If we go straight in and activate this release clause and offer him a nice package we might stand a chance but with Wenger’s dithering he will most likely offer 20m and get in to a war of words with A Madrid.

    Like

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