Liverpool have had to defend striker Luis Suarez on more than one occasion over the last few seasons, with the Uruguayan international having a knack for landing himself in trouble.
But with reports claiming the Anfield club have activated Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa’s release clause, Liverpool could be about to sign a forward who would form a threatening partnership with Suarez not just in front of goal.
Costa comes with his own track record of disciplinary troubles, with his largely physical approach likely to ruffle a feather or two.
In last season’s Madrid derby, the 24-year-old Brazilian appeared to be on a vendetta against the entire Real side, as he clashed with Xabi Alonso, Pepe and repeatedly with Sergio Ramos, who received a glancing head butt during the game.
He was sent off in the following game in the Europa League fixture against Viktoria Plzen after another head butt on David Limbersky, earning himself a three-match ban for what was labelled an “assault”.
With Suarez missing a number of games through suspension during his time at Anfield, Rodgers could turn to Costa to lead the line of attack, although his record last season in doesn’t bode well, picking up 13 yellow cards as well as the red in Europe – more than his goals scored in the League and Europe combined.
Costa learnt his trade – like many of his talented countrymen – on the streets of Brazil, but unlike some he was confined to street football until he was 16, when he was picked up by Barcelona Esportivo Capela in Sao Paolo.
His first professional contract came at 18 for Portuguese side Braga, but he was plucked by Atletico after just six months with the club, before being sent out on loan repeatedly. A return to Braga was followed by similar spells with Celta and Albacete before he left the Madrid club and moved to Valladolid as part of the deal that saw goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo travel in the opposite direction.
But that didn’t last long, as Atletico brought him back to the club having sold him just a year earlier, but a serious injury knee injury saw him spend the majority of the season on the sidelines.
Once fit again, he was sent on-loan to Rayo Vallecano for the end of the 2011/12 season, but it was his performances for Atletico last season that has caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers. His goal tally isn’t great, but if the Reds can keep hold of Suarez, the two could form an imposing partnership that terrorise Premier League defences for the right reasons.
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