Chelsea striker Diego Costa has revealed that he almost joined Liverpool in the summer of 2013 as the Merseysiders had met his release clause of A?21m.
At the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Liverpool had offloaded Andy Carroll and were looking to make signings up-front before the summer window closed but were unsuccessful. They strengthened in January by signing Daniel Sturridge and were looking to add more quality post that season and had identified Costa as a potential buy after the Spaniard had scored 20 goals in all competitions in the 2012-13 season. However, after having a good season at Atletico Madrid, he couldn’t turn down a new contract and signed a deal that doubled his wages.
Costa said, a I was close to leaving Atletico.
a Liverpool are a great team, but after fighting so hard and overcoming difficulties to get my place at Atletico, how could I leave?
a I thought it was very important to keep growing with Atletico and to play there for many years.a
As it turned out, Costa’s stay played a big part in Atletico winning the League title under Diego Simeone and the 26-year old was a strong crowd favourite as well after deciding not to turn down a new deal with Atleti. He went on to score 36 times for Atletico in all competitions last season and, as a result, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho took notice.
One does wonder if Costa would have fit at Liverpool in Sturridge and Luis Suarez’s presence as the duo formed a formidable partnership. They contributed 52 goals for Brendan Rodgers’ side last season, so Costa’s signing would have hampered the Spaniard rather than helped him grow. The extra season in Spain showed what his qualities were as a striker, something that Chelsea desperately needed.
The blues couldn’t win any silverware last season mainly due to the form of their strikers. The trio of Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o scored a combined 33 goals in all competitions; not an ideal number of goals you want from your strikers if you want to win silverware. Costa’s arrival has added pace, strength, guile in Chelsea’s attacking and he has already scored 17 times in the league and is just seven behind Fernando Torres who holds the record for most goals by a foreign player in his debut season .
Liverpool fans might be disappointed that he turned them down two years back, but they already had Suarez and Sturridge at the club, a partnership that nearly won them the league.