With time quickly running out in the transfer window, speculation has intensified in recent days that Ronald Koeman may swoop to bring want away Chelsea striker Diego Costa into the Everton Squad on a short term deal.
Having effectively been told he has no future at Stamford Bridge, and with his dreams of an Atetico Madrid return on hold until January, the Spaniard’s immediate future currently appears uncertain at best. Surely then, a loan move to Everton would help the player maintain his fitness and crucially, his goal-scoring touch, enough to secure the Atléti move and ultimately his place in Spain’s World Cup squad later this year?
From the player’s point of view then, a temporary switch of blue shirt may seem like a bit of a no-brainier, but what’s in it for Everton? A quick look at his stats, particularly his conversation rate of 52 goals in 89 Premier League appearances tells us he certainly knows where the back of the net is. With that in mind, and with Everton still looking for an out and out replacement for Romelu Lukaku at the heart of their attack, it’s easy to see why this story seems to have legs with the press.
Fans however, remain divided over the prospect of Costa joining the club, many arguing that the forward’s questionable attitude may disrupt the Goodison Park dressing room. Add to this Costa’s often firey temperament on the pitch and you can see why some blues might be anxious over this potential arrival, even in spite of his impressive goal return.
There are also question marks over Costa’s fitness. He has had a fragmented pre season to say the least, training on his own for much of the buildup to the new season. His omission from Chelsea’s squad for the opening few matches has meant that he hasn’t played competitively since Spain’s June 11th World Cup Qualifier against Macedonia (a 90th minute strike from Costa himself sealing a 2-0 win for La Furia Roja).
Aside from issues relating to the player himself, a number of Evertonians take umbrage with the idea of a loan deal, as it only offers Koeman and Director of Football, Steve Walsh a short term solution to the centre forward problem which now exists at the club. There is also the notion that a short term loan would in a way undermine the status of the club, with the Everton first team effectively becoming a waiting room for Atletico Madrid. Not forgetting the fact that there would be no real desire from the player to play for Everton specifically, The Toffees merely providing a means to an end, until a Madrid move can be finalized.
All in all I don’t think many fans would argue against the suggestion that a signing of Costa’s ability and skillset is an absolute necessity if Everton are to challenge for honours this season. That much was abundantly clear to anyone who witnessed Koeman’s side limp to a 2-0 defeat to on Sunday (ironically at the hands of Chelsea). Indeed, the Dutchman has been very vocal about the need to address this area of the team. Whether or not a deal can be done however(be that a loan from Chelsea prior to the Atlei transfer in January, or a loan back to the Premier League from the Madrid giants until he is eligible to play in La Liga), only time will tell. One thing is certain though, if Koeman and Co can get him fit and firing, Costa would be a valuable asset, albeit in the short term. Crucially though, it would also buy Everton some time to secure a permanent deal for one of their long term striking targets in time for the January window. Either way, it looks as though despite the early flurry of transfer activity at the beginning of the window, the final 48 hours could yet prove to be the most important from an Everton point of view.