Douglas Costa is taking a big risk with Bayern Munich move
College Contributor Network
In addition to quick, agile, versatile and incredibly gifted, Brazilian international Douglas Costa could also be described as extremely bold.
After five incredible years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk, Costa had the world at his feet. Multiple clubs from the top five leagues were willing to do whatever it took to acquire his services.
But instead of settling for a club that'll guarantee him regular playing time, the attacker took a huge leap of faith by joining a team stacked with the some of the best players in the world. The 24-year-old made a big money move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
For most players, being on the German club's roster is a career highlight, however, that might not be the case for Costa. The player signed for €30 million will be competing directly with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, etc. for a place in the starting lineup. And the odd of him eclipsing those three players on the depth chart is very slim.
Costa is very good, but he isn't on Bayern's top stars level. In a few years, he might be just as good, if not better than Robben, Ribery or Muller, but the Brazilian doesn't have the luxury of a few years.
He has to deliver now or risk watching his value depreciate faster than Greece's economy. Playing for the Brazilian national team and one of the best club sides in the world, Costa can't manage to take his foot off the gas.
Even though they crashed out of the Copa America without star player Neymar, the Selecao is still one of the most stacked national sides in the world. With players excelling in all parts of the world, Dunga can easily leave out one of his best attackers without any major backlash. For example, if Costa isn't playing regularly, the coach can leave him out of the team for Lazio's maestro Feliper Anderson, Chelsea's Oscar, Paris Saint Germain's Lucas Moura or who knows, he might even give Orlando City's Kaka another chance.
If he does fail to make an immediate impact in Germany, not getting called up by Dunga will be the least of his worries. We've all seen how cruel the managers, media and fans can be to big money acquisitions that fail to produce. Fernando Torres, Adrian Mutu and fellow Brazilian Paulinho are perfect examples of former stars that were relegated to lesser roles or teams because they failed to live up to the hype.
Some might argue that Pep Guardiola will be patient with the Brazilian and give him a couple of seasons to land on his feet in Germany. But why would the Spanish coach waste a lot of money on a player that isn't ready to be a game changer. Costa's price tag proves that Guardiola expects the Brazilian to flourish in his first season.
With all that said, it's crucial to state that Costa possesses unique skillsets that can make him a big star in Munich.
The most coveted of those skillsets is his versatility. Despite preferring to play down the middle, Costa also excels on both flanks.
"I see him in Robben's position. He's just 24 and can reach Robben's level in the years to come. He's a very strong player, naturally left-footed but can play on the right too. And he is ruthless and unstoppable when cutting in from the wings. He's on the same level as James Rodríguez," Shakhtar's coach Mircea Lucescu said.
Guardiola could also be lining Costa up as Ribery's replacement. The French winger who is on the wrong side of 30 is coming off an injury-plagued season. He only made 15 league appearances, but still managed five goals and seven assists.
We have to wait and see if Costa will flourish in Bayern's colors, but his move to the club proves that he is very courageous. Hopefully his risk yields great rewards for him and Bayern.
Shay Awosiyan is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He played soccer for 13 years and hopes to one day become a commentator. Follow him on Twitter: @THESHAY11