While the current Brazil squad has goals and skills, one area lacking is pace, but that’s where Juve’s Douglas Costa can fill the gap
Douglas Costa is not exactly known for his goal-scoring abilities, but the Juventus-man is proving why what he offers is good enough to gradually cement him a spot at the Italian club’s starting lineup, and quite possibly earn him the ticket to the World Cup with Brazil.
Douglas Costa experienced a thrilling debut season at German giants Bayern Munich, under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. However, his second term was hindered by injury, despite still showing some moments of brilliance. But the turning point was the arrival of Italian tactician Carlo Ancelotti in the third season. It was clear that the Brazil international was not a pillar in Ancelotti’s Bayern, so an exit from the club was seen as the last-gasp attempt to revive his career, just in time for the World Cup.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has expressed his support for Costa on numerous occasions, as the Brazilian’s influence continues to grow with every game. In the Italian Cup derby against Torino last week, Douglas was by far the man of the match with his best performance in a Juve shirt yet, as he scored a stunning goal to confirm a convincing victory.
In the following league fixture away to Cagliari, the 27-year-old was rested, only to come on in the second half and take matters into his own hands, by providing the match-winning assist to Federico Bernardeschi, who was left with an easy tap-in, to finish-off the game.
Douglas Costa has only scored two goals and mustered six assists in 14 starts across all competitions for Juve, but the flying winger has more to his game than merely end-product. As a matter of fact, Costa averages 3.2 successful dribbles and 1.7 chances created per game, in addition to an impressive pass success ratio of 86 percent.
To put things into perspective, Brazil’s national team is in more need for blistering pace, dazzling runs and sparkling skills on the right-hand side, than someone who can provide extra goals. In fact, the Seleção can already rely on Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho and the ever-impressive Paulinho, to find the net.
Douglas Costa would be needed to operate as a classical winger who takes on opponents and delivers the ball into the final third. Meanwhile, his high-end product would certainly do him favors as he is more suited to cover Dani Alves, who is not getting any younger, than Coutinho would have been.
Most fans of Brazil’s national team are desperate to see Barcelona’s new record signing, Philippe Coutinho in a role in central midfield. The former Liverpool magician has shown that he can do a job as wide play-maker on the right-hand side, but there is no doubt that his creativity is more needed in center, where he provides a big offensive addition over Renato Augusto, albeit not being as defensively capable.
The World Cup is exactly five months away, and time is running out. But so far, so good for Douglas Costa. The veteran is growing in confidence, and as things stand, will earn himself a spot in Adenor Bacchi’s 23-man squad to Russia.