What’s the talk?
That’s according to Claret & Hugh, with the West Ham insider revealing in a recent article that David Moyes is eyeing the UD Almeria defensive midfielder as a potential candidate to replace Tomas Soucek – who has largely underperformed in east London so far this season – in the heart of his Irons side.
The insider went on to state that the LaLiga side value the 22-year-old at a figure in the region of £21m, while reports from Portugal suggest that the Spanish club are already monitoring the market for a replacement for the Portugal U21 international – with the Hammers said to have made their interest in a move for Costa clear.
Bin Soucek, sign Costa
Considering just how underwhelming Soucek has been for West Ham in recent months, coupled with how impressive Costa has been for Almeria over the past two years, it is easy to see why Moyes would be interested in a deal to bring the youngster in as a potential replacement for the Czech international.
Indeed, over his 38 LaLiga 2 appearances last season, the £11m-rated talent played a key role in Almeria’s title-winning campaign, making an average of 1.7 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.5 clearances and winning 6.9 duels – at a success rate of 49% – per game.
The 22-year-old also impressed in possession of the ball, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 0.6 key passes, playing 3.6 long balls and completing 41.3 total passes – at a success rate of 83% – per match.
These returns saw the midfielder – who statistician OptaJose dubbed “omnipresent” and journalist Luisma Sanchez claimed “empties himself in each game” – average an extremely impressive Sofascore statistical rating of 6.83 last time out.
It has been a similar story over his 13 LaLiga fixtures in the current campaign, with the £3k-per-week youngster making an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.5 clearances and winning 4.2 duels – at a success rate of 50% – per game.
Going forwards, the Portugal youth international has enjoyed an average of 47.1 touches, made 0.4 key passes, played 3.3 long balls and completed 28.9 total passes – at a success rate of 82% – per match.
As such, with it being clear for all to see that Costa is a young, hungry and technically gifted central midfielder who wears his heart on his sleeve in every match, it would indeed appear as if the 22-year-old would be a dream replacement for the “abysmal” – in the words of Josh Bunting – Soucek, who has been anything but the description afforded to Costa this season.