Published on April 30th, 2017 | by BrazilStats0
Could Douglas Costa be missing piece for a Liverpool title challenge?
Bayern Munich’s Brazilian midfielder could be on the move this summer, and Liverpool could be the perfect place for Douglas Costa to compete
Douglas Costa is unhappy at Bayern Munich because of short game-time, due to high competition from Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben. If reports were to be true, English giants Liverpool are interested in his services. Would the sparkling Brazilian midfielder be an addition to Jurgen Klopp’s squad, and does he have what it takes to make an instant impact?
It is no secret to anyone that Pep Guardiola was the one who brought Douglas Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk to Germany. Following the Spaniard’s departure, Douglas has struggled to make his best impression under Italian tactician Carlo Ancelotti. Missing out on over 100 days of the season because of injury, has certainly not helped the case of the 26-year old.
The common belief in German press is that Costa’s first season was far more encouraging than his second, but despite his ups and downs, there is no doubt that the Brazil international has the quality to rediscover his finest form if he manages to remain injury-free, and develops under the right coach.
Liverpool are dying for a natural man-to-man replacement to Mané who is set to miss several games due to injury. The squad lacks an above-average winger to fill the gap, whenever the Senegalese is absent. Costa has the ability to operate on the right flank, as he is left-footed and can cut-in to a more central position in order to have a shot at goal – and he has scored many this way, notably against Arsenal and Wolfsburg.
Besides that, Douglas can also be deployed on the left-hand side, like he has done many times under Guardiola, as he excelled in the function of beating his marker with his lightening pace, before crossing the ball into the danger zone – where Bayern’s attackers are always clinical. This is how Pep was able to use him in the best way possible.
If Costa plays on the right, then he would be competing with Mané who is a key figure in the lineup. But if he is used on the left, then this would allow Coutinho to be deployed in a more central role. A 4-2-3-1 with Philippe as the creative attacking midfielder, flanked by two speedsters, and right behind Roberto Firmino, promises to be one of the best attacking quartets in the league, if not the best – at least on paper.
Klopp’s system requires energetic wingers who are willing to press high in order to recover the ball, and willing to track back in order to eliminate situations where the opponent would have numerical superiority. In addition to that, Costa’s acceleration would be essential in a team that likes to rely on counter-attacks during big games – where spaces will be found.
The problem for Liverpool essentially remains in breaking down deep-lying defenses against lower-tier sides, who tend to defend with a low block. Costa could always try to beat his man and deliver the ball into the penalty box, as long as there is a target man like Lewandowski, to convert. Would Douglas Costa, Coutinho, Mané and Firmino complete each other, or should Liverpool invest their money on a different player?