Why Atletico Madrid Will Benefit from New Diego Costa Contract

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 17:   Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 17, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid have seen plenty of movement in the transfer market this summer in terms of their attacking options, but one player who will not be on the move is Atleti forward Diego Costa.

In spite of some reported interest in the media from Liverpool, who BBC Sport claim made a £21 million bid for Costa, the Brazilian-born attacker has opted to renew his contract with the Madrid-based club and will look to spearhead the attack this season alongside the likes of David Villa and Leo Baptistao.

While it might have been tempting for Atletico to take the money on offer for their player, they were in no particular need of funds this summer having sold Radamel Falcao to AS Monaco for more than £50 million in July, while Joel Robles, Pizzi and Ruben Micael have also departed to boost the club's income past the £60 million mark.

With Villa and Baptistao both incoming deals this summer to the attacking lineup, it was important for Atletico to keep at least one familiar face in place up front to ensure some level of continuity after an extremely successful season in 2012-13.

For a long time during last season, Atletico were the closest challengers to Barcelona's title-winning party, until a strong finish from Real Madrid saw them overhaul their cross-city rivals into second. Still, a third-place finish for Atletico was an impressive campaign, topped off by domestic success in the Copa del Rey where they beat Real themselves in the final.

While Falcao was of course the top scorer for the team, Diego Costa was next in line having hit 10 league goals over the course of the season. He also added seven assists from just 24 starts and a further seven substitute appearances.

An aggressive and combative attacker, Costa brings great endeavour and hard work to the Atletico side without conceding any amount of on-the-ball talent.

While the team has lost it's incredible goal threat from Falcao, the hope will be that Villa in particular can contribute enough to not miss the Colombian significantly, while Costa should also be aiming to up his own tally, both in terms of games and goals.

Leo Baptistao showed at times last term that he can be a top player if given the confidence and tactical freedom to play his game, though he can certainly feature in enough roles to suggest that all three forwards might be seen on the pitch for Atletico at times.

It would have been easy, perhaps, for Diego Costa to jump at the chance of leaving for Liverpool, where a bigger wage would perhaps have been on offer and he would be perceived as having the opportunity to replace Luis Suarez.

Fast forward a few days and Suarez might not even be leaving Liverpool now, meaning that, arguably, Diego Costa wouldn't have been required at all—at least not as a regular starter in his preferred roles.

On the other hand, staying at Atletico means he's going to be featuring regularly for a Champions League side, likely one who will feature in the top few clubs in La Liga once more and, given his impact on the pitch and his heights reached last term, where he'll be afforded the affinity of the fans from the start of the year.

He's a known quantity who doesn't sit well with everybody—least of all opposition defenders who suffer his physical and mental barrage of attacks, on and off the ball—but by the same token, he is still capable of so much more.

Signing his new deal with Atletico Madrid means they are the club now likely to witness his finest years, and if he quickly forges a good relationship with Villa on the pitch, Atleti might start to dream of more than just a Copa del Rey trophy.