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Bundesliga

Kaiser……….Douglas Costa?

Douglas Costa Bayern Munich
Douglas Costa of Muenchen runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Olympiacos FC at Allianz Arena on November 24, 2015 in Munich, Germany.

In the summer, Bayern Munich made an eyebrow-raising move to pry Brazilian winger Douglas Costa from war-torn Donetsk, Ukraine. To most, this seemed like a risky move because the former Donetsk winger had not proven himself in a top 5 league and that there were better options on the table for Munich to assess (cue the Eden Hazard rumors). To make matters more interesting, he was bought for 30 million euro, which made him the third most expensive signing in the club’s history, behind Spanish defender Javi Martinez, and German midfielder Mario Gotze.

His signing was seen as necessary by the Bayern board, considering at the time, many wondered if Franck Ribery would ever be fit again after his debilitating ankle injury kept him out of the squad for 8 months. Bayern tried to fill the void in his absence from within the squad, but left-back Juan Bernat, and midfielder Mario Gotze were unable to make the left side their own.

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From his first appearance wearing the Rot and Weiss on, he’s dazzled Europe with a skill set that has made jaws drop throughout the continent. His transition from Donetsk to Munich has been seamless.

So far this Bundesliga campaign, Costa has brought back aesthetically pleasing football to the Allianz Arena, bamboozling defenders with speed, trickery, guile, and play-making ability that has helped Munich stay up top the Bundesliga summit, with their only loss coming against Borussia Monchengladbach. Costa has 2 goals, 7 assists, and averages 3.8 successful dribbles so far this campaign, and has made the neutral stand-up and take notice of his mesmerizing performances this season.

With the threat that Costa has brought, it certainly has helped ease the pressure off of forwards Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, with the two scoring goals at a rate which would make the Hungry Hungry Hippos seem full and satisfied. Lewandowski has scored 17 goals so far and Muller has scored 14.

A game for Costa that sticks out was his performance against Borussia Dortmund, as he made life miserable for defenders Lukasz Piszczek and Greek international Sokratis Papasthapopoulos marauding down the left side with ease almost setting up Mario Gotze with a prime scoring chance that was parried away by goalkeeper Roman Burki.

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Not only has he done well domestically, he has done well in the Champions League, where he has been an integral reason why Bayern Munich are also top of group F, with his 2 goals and 2 assists proving to be crucial so far. His performances against Arsenal home and away have also been some of his finest so far this campaign, as he wrecked havoc against Arsenal’s shaky defense and created vital goal-scoring opportunities for his team.

Simply put, Costa has not put a foot wrong, and the 25-year-old has cemented himself in Bayern’s ever-changing starting XI with ease this season.

While he missed the Monchengladbach game due to injury, his place in the starting XI should not be up for grabs so easily, because the Brazilian’s presence on the pitch was sorely missed in the 3-1 defeat. While Franck Ribery grabbed a goal in the dying stages of the match, the former Marseille man simply can’t offer what the Brazilian has put on display this season (This is not a knock on Ribery. The Frenchman has made it to the upper echelons of Bayern greats, but father time has slowly caught up with him).

With the show Costa has put on for the Bayern faithful this season, to put it in the words of Maximus Decimus Meridius, “Are you not entertained?!”

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It’s time for the Sudkurve to wean off of Franck Ribery, because there is a new Kaiser in town, and he goes by Douglas.

 

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