Former United, Liverpool target following in £32m Chelsea man's foosteps

Rayo Vallecano Bar Scarf

Leo Baptistao is finally proving his worth once again in La Liga. Could he be the next Diego Costa?

In January 2013 clubs were clamouring to get a glimpse at a player called Leo Baptistao.

Like Chelsea's £32 million newbie Diego Costa, Baptistao is Brazilian born - but moved to Europe early to pursue a career as a professional footballer. He signed for Rayo at the tender age of 16-years-old - before a battle with hepatitis waylaid him for a period of time.

He impressed at Vallecano in 2012-13 and the Premier League rivals were said to be readying moves for the player in the summer. Manchester United even sent out a scout to check him out in action, Martin Ferguson watching him in January 2013.

But they missed out, as Baptistao continued the likeness with Diego Costa by agreeing to join Atletico Madrid of La Liga.

Diego Simeone splashed out a reported €7 million to get his man in the summer - but it has not exactly gone to plan for the 21-year-old.

He struggled for game time and was loaned out to Real Betis toward the end of last season. He scored just once for the club and they were relegated.

Now 22-years-old Baptistao has been loaned back to Rayo, in an attempt to get him back up to his previous standard. At the moment it appears to be working,

He has now scored four goals this campaign after netting a second consecutive brace against Levante this afternoon. Once again he is beginning to look like the talent that United and Liverpool were once so very keen on snapping up over a year ago.

It was at this age that Costa, a Brazilian expatriate on loan at Rayo from Atletico Madrid, scored ten goals in 16 games and finally burst onto the La Liga scene and after a recent false start it looks like Baptistao is now following in those footsteps.

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