It has been made abundantly clear throughout pre-season that Diego Costa is Quique’s top choice as the team’s third striker. The Brazilian forward, who showed great promise early last season before a precipitous decline in his performance in the second half of his campaign at Valladolid, has dazzled coaches and fans alike these past few weeks and has unquestionably earned the right to finally remain with Atleti.
It has become a common refrain amongst Atléticos everywhere: Pitarch blew it. The director spent a small fortune on Asenjo last year, when he had two jewels at home in Roberto and De Gea, not to mention the revelation that has been Joel this summer. Quique proved last season upon his arrival that he wasn’t going to be afraid to thumb his nose at the directors by benching Asenjo and favoring the yet unproven canterano De Gea. A gamble that, though business wise reflected very poorly on the sporting directorship at Atleti, paid off huge dividends on the field and was no doubt vital to our Europa League success.
This season, Quique faces a very similar situation with Salvio and Costa. Upon his arrival from Lanús, the Argentine striker was hailed as the next Kun Agüero, perhaps unfairly as it put a lot of undue pressure on Toto to perform brilliantly right away, but given the hefty fee that was paid for him, it was only natural that expectations of him would be sky high.
Aside from a stellar performance against a very weak Tenerife team late in April, in which he scored two goals in the first 30 minutes and then appeared to burn out for the rest of the match, Toto hasn’t done nearly enough to justify his cost. Does this mean that we should continue to insist on keeping him around in favor of a less costly but a better prepared option so that Pitarch avoids feeling like an ass? Of course not.
That’s why I would kindly request of Quique to once again, with both cojones, do what he feels is right, what’s better for the quality of the team and not what’s best for Pitarch’s ego, and hold on to Costa.
Opinion articles are not the views of AtléticoFans and reflect only the opinions of the author.