Wolverhampton Wanderers would be a “better fit” than Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur for free-agent striker Diego Costa, Emile Heskey has told HITC.
The footballing world is full of veteran centre-forwards who have matured like the finest bottle of merlot.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo continue to chuckle boastfully in the face of Father Time while Robert Lewandowski, at 32, has never looked sharper.
Jamie Vardy became the Premier League’s oldest ever Golden Boot winner last season too, and that is without mentioning Karim Benzema, Real Madrid’s 33-year-old talisman.
But, for Diego Costa, his career has aged less like a bottle of the finest Bordeaux and more a stagnant glass of water slowly festering on top of a grimy windowsill.
A series of injuries have reduced this battle-scarred warrior to a shadow of his former, fearsome self. Since being bombed out of Chelsea by the bluntest of Antonio Conte text messages, Costa has scored just 12 times in 61 La Liga games during an underwhelming second spell at Atletico Madrid.
That has not stopped a trio of Premier League clubs being linked with the now 32-year-old Spain international, however, after his contract at the Wanda Metropolitano was torn up last week.
And, of the three, one stands out as the ideal destination for Costa to rebuild his reputation.
“Wolves would probably be the better fit,” Heskey says of a striker represented, like Molineux favourites Daniel Podence, Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio, by super-agent Jorge Mendes.
“(Wolves) work their flanks a hell of a lot and get balls in. We’ve seen Raul Jimenez scoring a hell of a lot of goals from Adama Traore crosses. I think that’s the best fit out of the three.
“You can wipe off Arsenal. I don’t think he fits into the way Mikel Arteta likes to play – everyone’s got to be mobile and willing to run around.
“I’m not saying he can’t do that but, on the scale Arteta would probably want, I don’t think Diego Costa would suit that.
“Tottenham; with Harry Kane, is (Costa) willing to sit and wait for an opportunity? Probably not. At 32, do you have time to wait? Probably not.
“And, at 32, you can’t just keep coming in and out of games, you need the consistency to get yourself up to speed.”
Wolves appear to be going down a younger route, re-calling Patrick Cutrone and introducing teenager Fabio Silva into the first-team picture in Jimenez’s absence.
But if they ever need a blood-thirsty, penalty-box predator, Mendes is only a phone call away.