Bayern Munich badly need some attacking reinforcements and should consider a move for Douglas Costa. We at The Hard Tackle analyse the possibilities of a reunion.
Bayern Munich have been very dormant when it comes to transfer dealings in the January transfer window. While they got hold of right-back Alvaro Odriozola on loan from Real Madrid, the Bavarians are still lacking in a lot of departments and as we enter the business end of the season, signing an attack-minded player before the window ends appears to be imperative.
According to SportBild, Bayern are linked with Brazilian winger Douglas Costa to add more depth to their wider positions. The 29-year-old has represented Bayern previously before joining Juventus and can now be their last resort to bolster their attack.
Costa has the capability to take the club to greater heights, which is what was expected from him in his first stint, as the Bayern faithful saw him as long-term replacement for Franck Ribery on the left flank. Now, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at why a reunion with the Brazilian will be a viable call for the German giants.
Out of Favour in Turin
Since Maurizio Sarri took charge at Juventus, the Bianconeri have played a narrow 4-3-1-2 formation in most matches. The strike partnership has mostly been adorned by three players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine is also capable of playing in the free role just behind the two strikers and even Italian midfielder Federico Bernadeschi and Welshman Aaron Ramsey are getting their fair share of minutes in the advanced midfield role in Sarri’s system.
Hence, there does not appear to be any space for the Italian to use Douglas Costa in his system. Costa, who is known for his quick feet, exquisite ball control and lightning pace, prefers to play out on the flanks, which does not necessarily exist in Sarri’s current style of play.
Therefore, Costa’s role in the team has been restricted to an impact player, who is used mostly later in games to add more legs in the attack.
Despite making 10 Serie A appearances, Costa has only racked up 283 minutes this season, while he seeing only 10 minutes of football in the Champions League. Amidst reduced game time, the 29-year-old has mustered 3 assists in the league this season, proving his quality. So, a move out of Turin to somewhere he is more certain of game time won’t be a bad move for the Brazilian.
Lack of Depth at Bayern in Wider Positions
Bayern have struggled to bring in proper replacements for Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben after the duo departed the club leaving a huge legacy behind. Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry are talented and there is no question about it. However, the Frenchman has struggled with injuries throughout his career and spends a lot of time on the treatment table.
When he is available, he can create mayhem with his exceptional ball control and ability to dribble past defenders at will. But, regular injury concerns have made the Bayern hierarchy lose patience and look for wide players who can slot in his absence.
Recently, Serge Gnabry also sustained a knee injury and despite being superb this campaign, the Bavarians necessarily do not have the backup to keep the likes of Gnabry and Coman fresh for the big games when they return to action.
There are players like Ivan Perisic and Thomas Muller who can play on the flanks, but both of them aren’t as deadly as the first-choice duo. While Hansi Flick has managed to use Muller as an inverted winger, German hasn’t had much success in the position in the recent past.
Therefore, bringing in someone like Douglas Costa, who has been with the club earlier and knows the fans and the club inside out, can be a wise move considering the number of days left before the window closes.
Can it go wrong?
Douglas Costa joined Bayern back in 2015, when Pep Guardiola brought him to the club from Shakhtar Donetsk and the Brazilian had a great time under Guardiola. However, with Guardiola’s departure, Costa was mostly used as an impact substitute by Carlo Ancelotti, which left the Brazilian unsettled.
Costa also had a spat with the Bayern hierarchy as he openly spoke about his unhappiness in Bavaria owing to a lack of game time. However, his comments came as a rebuttal to the comments of Bayern’s former President Uli Hoeness, who accused Costa of attempting to scour a better contract for himself with his words of discontent.
The Brazilian winger has also had his share of injury concerns mainly with his troublesome hamstring and knee. Whether Bayern look to walk in the same path again in pursuit of the Brazilian remains to be seen. Costa is already 29 and will be a very short-term move for the Bavarians if they go ahead with the deal.
A loan move will be the best for both parties. There is no denying Douglas Costa’s abilities as well as the lack of depth in wide areas for Bayern Munich. With the club heading to the business end of the season, their chances of European glory look pretty bleak.
Bringing in the 29-year-old will add more firepower to the whole unit and considering he already shares a good bond with players like Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, setting in will unlikely be an issue.
People may call this a very short-sighted approach, but that’s they best bet Bayern have right now after missing out on wingers like Callum Hudson-Odoi, Leroy Sane and Hakim Ziyech. Therefore, Douglas Costa looks like the most viable option for the Bavarians to sign on loan for the rest of the season before taking a call on a permanent move in the summer.