Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted last week he would have liked to sign striker Diego Costa before he moved to Chelsea.
The Brazilian-born scorer attracted the attentions of a number of top European clubs following his fabulous campaign at Atletico Madrid where he netted 36 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions.
After initial links with Premier League rivals Liverpool, it was Jose Mourinho’s side which completed a blockbuster deal after activating his £32 million release clause.
The Blues’ new hero has taken to Premier League football like water off a ducks back, netting an incredible nine goals in his first seven league appearances including a classy lob against the Gunners.
Costa’s beautiful finish was an extra kick in the teeth for Wenger, as not only were the Gunners downed 2-0 but the French coach admitted he wanted to buy the striker before he ended up at Stamford Bridge.
“Yes [I wanted to recruit him], but the agreement was reached too early.” He said, quoted by the French publication Le10sport.
Wenger’s admiration for the Spanish international has come to the forefront over the past week as he has been left stunned by his excellent start to life in the Premier League.
But how does he compare with some of the other near signings such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo?
Whilst all of those above are superb football players in their own right, the gap between the Gunners and their competitors wasn’t so big ten or more years ago and finances didn’t play such a big role.
Now, for the North Londoners to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea financially and challenge for the title, they have to get the best players perfectly moulded for their team at a reasonable price.
Diego Costa fits that description - more so than the big names mentioned previously.
The striker adds fabulous movement through the middle, height and power for crosses from out-wide and a killer touch in-front of goal which arguably far exceeds French international Olivier Giroud.
If Wenger retires from the Emirates without adding to his 2004 Premier League title triumph, then missing out on Costa may rank higher than most in the ‘what could have been’ archives.