Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Brazil midfielder Douglas Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk on a five-year contract.
The German giants posted photographs of the 24-year-old signing his contract after a deal worth 30 million euros (£21.3 million) was confirmed.
Here’s the Joy Sports team’s view of the move for the highly-rated youngster courted also by Chelsea and Manchester United.
Trying to remain competitive, Bayern Munich have invested many a Euro in trying to find young, moldable talents to roam the Allianz Arena turf for many years. Douglas Costa is the latest piece to that puzzle, and he came with a €30 million transfer fee, a relatively hefty price.
This is a player manager Pep Guardiola – who scouted him at the Copa America – and sporting director Matthias Sammer have high regard for. Sammer, in fact, could hardly hold his enthusiasm at Douglas Costa’s introductory press conference. While any big investments come with their innate doubts, Bayern have several reasons to be excited to welcome Douglas Costa to the Säbener Straße.
1. The man works really, really hard
Douglas Costa’s goal total does not accurately portray the player he is. Sure, Mircea Lucescu asked him to score goals, but his primary role was to create chances for Luiz Adriano and Alex Teixeira, as well as track back and help Darijo Srna secure the flanks. He is a player that works goal-line to goal-line, and his motor is constantly running. He is due to take two weeks off, but as he portrayed in his interview with FCB.tv, he is as antsy as a jitterbug to get started with his new mates.
2. He is a fresh player to add to a team of injury-prone veterans
Some look at his lack of international experience as an indictment on his ability to break into a big team. By the same token, his lower minute totals is mileage on his legs he still has in the tank. In his five years at Shakhtar, he played 12,289 minutes for club and country, less than the 13,509 Thomas Müller has played for club and country in the last three years. Imagine how nice it would have been for Bayern, having Douglas Costa trying to start a counterattack in the Camp Nou against Barcelona rather than the worn out Müller. Franck Ribéry’s and Arjen Robben’s injuries were a front page issue last season, making the acquisition of Douglas Costa incredibly important.
3. The Müller-Costa partnership
Speaking of Müller, he is the player that perfectly complements a player like Douglas Costa. One player’s weakness is the other player’s strength, making for an enticing formula in the attacking third. Douglas Costa has the ability to put in diagonal balls, a perfect complement for Müller’s ability to make diagonal runs. Müller has the uncanny ability to set up players with the perfect touch, perfect for a player who can take advantages of pockets of space like Douglas Costa. This is a combination that fits together like a covalent bond, and the way the two play together will be incredibly fun to watch.
4. He is the aggressive player Bayern did not have last year
Bayern have a temperate identity engrained in them, most of the time leading to a methodical, patient buildup and clinical scoring conversions. However, that mindset is not always the right solution, for occasionally the club needs to be more insistent on forcing the issue. Douglas Costa provide them with the ability to push the envelope, using his pace and his skill to take on opponents by himself. That is a type of player Bayern have not had in the team for a while, and it is a different type of player Guardiola can utilize.
5. The immediate and longterm need
Even at 24, Douglas Costa’s ceiling is incredibly high. His skills are still relatively raw, specifically his finishing and his decision making, but he is with the right club and the right manager to take his career to the next level. Regardless, the player he is now has the ability to become a Bundesliga star, and he will play right away with some squad issues Bayern already face. Additionally, his age and mileage finally provide Bayern with a player who could ease the club’s transition from the “Robbery” era. Bayern gave him a five-year deal for a reason, and there is a high likelihood he could live out that contract at the moment.
6. He’s good, but he must be given time
Bayern had to do something to bolster their midfield after having crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s former team Barcelona. Costa will provide a great deal of skill and athleticism in the middle of the park for Bayern but it will be asking too much to expect him to suddenly make Bayern better than Barcelona and Real Madrid.
It was Guardiola’s defence which let them down so badly again on the big stage in Europe and so another midfield acquisition may not improve his side too significantly.
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