International Soccer

4 Premier League clubs who need to sign Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa

Portugal have goalkeeper Diogo Costa to thank for their place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Without his last-16 heroics against Slovenia, both in extra-time and the penalty shootout, the 2016 champions would already be on a plane home from Germany.

Costa, who first joined current club Porto as a child and has been their undisputed number one since 2021, had been relatively quiet until Slovenia striker Benjamin Sesko went through on goal looking to win the tie in the second half of extra-time. The RB Leipzig has been admired by the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, but Costa stuck out his left boot to divert the shot to safety.

A few minutes later, the 24-year-old became the first goalkeeper in European Championship history to save three penalties in a shootout, as well as the first not to concede in a shootout, as Portugal prevailed 3-0 thanks to conversions from Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva.

It is such performances at international tournaments that get players noticed.

DiogoCosta managed a hat-trick of penalty shootout saves

Costa managed a hat-trick of penalty shootout saves / Inaki Esnaola/GettyImages

Costa was previously of interest to Manchester United in 2023 as they weighed up potential replacements for David de Gea before formally pursuing Andre Onana.

He has a £65m release clause in the contract signed in November 2022, which would be Porto’s ideal selling point. There had been the possibility of accepting a lower fee last summer amid financial concerns, but Costa’s Euro 2024 displays could drive bids up, especially if there is competition.

With the kind of money involved, the Premier League seems like the obvious destination and these clubs are in need of an upgrade in goal…

Jose Sa

Sa has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Jose Sa signed a new long-term contract at Wolves last September but within a couple of months was being linked with a £40m switch to the Saudi Pro League, which has proven a popular recent destination for Portuguese players.

If Wolves were to sell Sa for decent money, they could feasibly reinvest it in a younger replacement like, say, Costa. Both players are represented by Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency and it would only be a complete surprise if you’ve forgotten Rui Patricio, Costa’s predecessor as Portugal number one, landed at Wolves in 2018 when they were fresh out of the Championship.

The club has drifted for a few seasons so some ambitious but thought out recruitment could be just what they need to get back into the top half and into Europe again.

Nick Pope

Could Newcastle stand to upgrade Pope? / Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Newcastle United number one Nick Pope missed half of last season with a shoulder injury, the same shoulder he previously dislocated in 2018 when he missed an entire campaign as a result. The 32-year-old was crucial to the Magpies finishing fourth in the Premier League in 2022/23, but if the club truly wants to challenge for trophies it might be time for an upgrade.

Since 2021’s PIF takeover, Newcastle have shown ambition in the transfer market without embarking on a reckless spending spree. Recruitment has been measured and, for the most part, successful.

Defensive strength is a pillar to build on and Costa could be just what Newcastle are looking for.

Ederson

Ederson’s Man City future isn’t clearcut / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Manchester City‘s recent success has been underpinned by a confidence in their ability to replace any player, with the club usually unwilling to stand in the way of anyone who wants to leave. Ultimately, players are just passing through and squad building is about constant evolution.

Ederson has been the undisputed number one throughout Pep Guardiola’s reign at the Eithad Stadium. But there has been speculation in recent weeks about his future due to the emergence of interest from Saudi Arabia – notably Al Ittihad. The Brazilian would have to formally request a transfer, but if his head is turned then City probably wouldn’t hesitate to replace him.

Ederson was one of the first of the new wave of sweeper-keepers, which makes the technical Costa a pretty solid pick to fill both his gloves and his boots.

Robert Sanchez

Sanchez joined Chelsea from Brighton / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Despite spending almost £40m last season on Robert Sanchez and Djordje Petrovic, it still doesn’t feel like Chelsea have got the goalkeeper position locked down. Considering greats like Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois played at Stamford Bridge in the recent past, the current offering pales in comparison.

Sanchez got injured in December and, other than briefly returning to the bench in March, missed the rest of the season. Petrovic then took over but clean sheets proved hard to come by.

Costa was offered to Chelsea last summer as they sought an alternative to Kepa Arrizabalaga after agreeing to sell Edouard Mendy. But they went in a different direction and hindsight suggests it was a mistake they could rectify by bringing in Costa.

READ THE LATEST TRANSFER NEWS & GOSSIP FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Most Popular

To Top