Douglas Costa is the newest signing for Juventus, though only on loan for now. The Bianconeri will pay €6 million to take Costa on loan this season, and they have an option to buy him for €40 million. The Brazilian’s arrival in Italy is a major splash in this transfer market, giving Juventus a major new weapon as they embark on their chase to finally claim another Champions League title for themselves.
Costa, a 26-year-old winger, was considered one of the brightest young attackers in Europe not all that long ago. But after a season troubled by nagging injuries and seeming to fall somewhat out of favor with Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern decided to put him on the market, giving Juventus the opportunity to pounce.
What happened to Costa at Bayern?
Just one year ago, it really looked like Costa was on the verge of a major breakout with Bayern, but hamstring and knee injuries coupled with a surprising re-emergence from Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery left him frequently watching from the bench. That added on top of a number of strong showings from ex-Juventus winger Kingsley Coman meant that Costa was awfully close to becoming expendable, giving Bayern room to consider offers for the young Brazilian.
Costa’s place in the team was made even more tenuous by the arrivals of Serge Gnabry and James Rodriguez, and it was little surprise to see him shipped off to Turin after almost a month of speculation connecting Costa to Juventus. It’s been a shame to see him fall seemingly a long ways in a hurry, but the Old Lady will be hoping that Bayern’s loss will be their gain.
What does Costa bring to Juventus?
Right now, Juventus have a serious lack of depth on the wings. Marko Pjaca is coming off a serious knee injury, Juan Cuadrado runs incredibly hot and cold — and that’s about the sum total of Juve’s wide depth. They’ve done some work with Mario Mandzukic playing wide, but it just wasn’t enough to help make a difference against teams that could hang with them physically, as the world saw in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, despite Mandzukic’s wonder goal.
Costa gives Juventus a real presence out wide, a player who can create or finish with equal skill. He’s magic with the ball at his feet, flashing incredible skills and decision making on the flank. Costa’s skill out wide is something that Juventus simply doesn’t have, and in order to make their team a more complete one, it’s something that they need.
Of course, knowing that Costa doesn’t defend as well as some other wide players, it’s going to be interesting to see how well he integrates in Max Allegri’s all-action side. Though the fact that most Serie A sides won’t know what to do to defend against Costa will certainly help his case in the ever-tinkering tactical mind of Allegri.
This is a great deal for Juventus
The way the money is spread out for Juventus — a reasonable loan fee, followed by a purchase option — is perfect for them, especially as they’re unsure as to how Costa bounces back from a down season. The team has several needs, especially in central midfield, so being able to spread out the cost of buying an impact attacker gives them a lot more freedom in how they pursue players for those other needs.
One interesting facet is that this is now the third deal structured like this between the two teams in the last year. Permanent transfers between the two teams for Mehdi Benatia’s move to Juventus and Kingsley Coman’s move to Bayern were only just recently finalized after the pair spent last season on loan with their new teams, helping establish a strong relationship between the two clubs that undoubtedly made getting this deal put together much, much easier — and probably somewhat cheaper than it would have been for other teams.
In the end, there’s very little not to like about this move for Juventus. It gives them a player they badly need at a price that works beautifully for them, while Bayern free up room in their squad for new acquisitions without leaving a talented player embittered by a lack of playing time on the bench. Hopefully this transfer serves as a fresh and bright new beginning for Douglas Costa, because the footballing world will be a much better place with him in it as a successful star — and that’s something he can definitely become with Juventus.