Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
A Brazilian*, a Chelsea cast-off, and an over-the-hill footballer walk into the Emirates...
If that joke feels awful to hear, it’s equally as awful to tell. And yet, it seems like 2020 still has one more cheap laugh at Arsenal’s expense up its sleeve, as it is rumored that the Gunners are kicking the tires on longtime Arsenal villain Diego Costa, according to multiple reports.
News first broke yesterday that Diego Costa had terminated his contract with the La Liga side Atletico Madrid, becoming a man without a club. Enter the Arsenal, who appear intent to once more shoot themselves in the foot in the transfer market and add an aging former Blue to their already deadwood-bloated roster.
On paper, a free transfer for a veteran striker with Premier League experience seems too good to pass up for a club like Arsenal. The Gunners have been struggling in the goal department after all, and with no true aerial threat to receive the countless crosses being pinged into the box by Arsenal’s wide players, a player of Costa’s build and aerial prowess would seem an ideal fit to spell the inconsistent form of Arsenal’s strikers.
But no matter how good the move looks on paper, let us not forget one simple, unalienable fact: Diego Costa is a world-class jerk. He is a dirty player who relishes the chance to wind-up an opponent. Case in point - Arsenal at Chelsea in 2015. After a series of underhanded dirty plays including raking Laurent Koscielny across the face, Costa, who body doubles for one of the Geico cavemen in his spare time, successfully goaded Gabriel Paulista into a confrontation that led to the Arsenal defender getting sent off for back heeling the striker in the shin.
Costa’s legacy of shithousery is well-known. Just type “Diego Costa Dirty” into YouTube and it is auto-completed with “Diego Costa Dirtiest Player in Football,” which isn’t a title someone simply gets for one or two wayward fouls. It is a well-earned appellation reserved for only those who have mastered football’s dark arts. Among Costa’s numerous dirty plays include:
- Deliberately stepping on a fallen Emre Can’s calf.
- Wrestling Steven Gerrard to the ground and then head butting him (same match as Can incident).
- Swiping at a ball with his arm while on the ground to stop play.
- Cynically tripping Iker Casillas while the keeper was collecting a ball.
- Countless shoves, chest bumps, and other various acts of jiggery-pokery.
Arsenal are a red card factory at the moment, having accumulated five red cards since Arteta has become manager. In his playing career, Costa has earned 6 second-yellows and 5 straight red cards, and surely could have been awarded countless others. Couple Costa’s hot-headed nature with VAR and you might as well show him his walking papers as he enters the pitch.
The idea of signing a player who has such a dastardly history with Arsenal is the epitome of gross. The idea of sandpaper toilet tissue sounds more appealing. I would rather run naked through a bramble bush before taking a dip in a salt and vinegar pool followed up with a hot sauce shower. The promise of a round with peak Mike Tyson seems less nausea-inducing. And all of this is to say that, knowing Arsenal’s current transfer philosophy, he’s going to end up a Gunner. I just know it.
But if Arsenal truly want to bring over a tall, bearded, burly striker who is an aerial threat and has experience in the Blue side of London, there is only one player that would be welcome at the Emirates that fits that bill. He might not be Brazilian, but he has the silky ball skills of one.
Come home, Oli.
*Yes, I know Diego Costa represents Spain internationally, but he was born and raised in Brazil.