LaLiga: Diego Costa’s disappointing numbers
The enthusiasm that greeted Diego Costa‘s return to Atletico Madrid is waning, with the forward’s performances and injury record since his return from Chelsea causing concern.
The Brazillian-born Spanish international has scored a mere 12 goals in 48 games in total, with only five coming in 34 LaLiga Santander matches, and the others were notched in cup competitions.
He started well, scoring three goals in four appearances following his January 2018 switch but, from then on, the goals dried up and his last for Los Rojiblancos came on March 30 at Alaves.
Diego Simeone has always stuck by his striker and the press conference after the 0-0 draw against Celta Vigo was no different.
“The numbers that you are quoting are true, but I trust Costa,” Simeone said.
“I know he can make a return to full fitness, but it will be a challenge for him.
“The season is long, and the team needs him.”
Teammate Felipe Monteiro also shared Simeone‘s optimism after the stalemate.
“Once Costa scores his first goal, more will come.
“Right now he may be feeling pressure to hit the back of the net, but forwards often go on streaks of good form.”
Uruguayan centre-back Jose Gimenez was another who heralded the importance of Costa to the side.
“The only difference is that he has not scored a goal,” the defender said.
“For us, Diego is everything. He does all the dirty work, fights to regain possession and acts as a motivator for the team, and sometimes that is the most important thing.
Despite the patchy form, Costa retains the full support of Simeone and played his fourth full match of the season against Celta, whereas record signing Joao Felix was subbed off yet again.
Atletico certainly need Costa‘s intensity and creative input, but the goals need to come sooner rather than later f they are to mount a title challenge.