Douglas Costa to United: The Verdict

One of the biggest rumors out there right now is the potential transfer of Douglas Costa from Juventus to Manchester United in a summer swap deal, with Paul Pogba returning to Turin in exchange.

At 28, dynamic winger Douglas Costa is at the very peak of his career. However, his performances with Juventus suggest he is a massive gamble, with a reported price of up to €60m on his signature. Just one goal in his first 17 appearances for the Bianconeri represents a frustrating start, but there are few candidates with a similar pedigree in the Champions League, which is where United need to be as a new era approaches.

Even though United are now considered fourth-favorites to lift the Premier League title (albeit very distantly) in current live soccer futures, the wide areas of the park undeniably remain an area of development for United. Alexis Sanchez is still not delivering on the promise he showed just prior to his transfer from Arsenal, and while Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are worthy wide-men, they are not wingers in the traditional sense.

Douglas Costa in action for Juventus

The fact that United continue to lag behind the teams they once terrorized is lost on nobody, least of all the positively-reviewed sportsbooks on betting site authority SBO, which pulls no punches in any sportsbook review. All of those that have a positive reputation know that the chances of United ending 2018/19 trophyless are increasing, and while a lack of wingers is not necessarily the cause of that, the very best teams can still destroy United in the middle of the park.

For that reason, the real concern for United fans is not how Douglas Costa will thrive – or otherwise – under a new regime, but how the departure of Paul Pogba in exchange would affect the team’s dynamic. Arguably, of all the United players, Pogba has undoubtedly improved the most since Solskjaer’s appointment. If we look at the following stats in the Premier League since Solskjaer was appointed, this becomes clear:

  • 9 games played, 8 wins and 1 draw
  • 90 minutes played in all but one of these games
  • 9 goals scored
  • 6 assists
  • With Pogba in a better place in terms of mentality, he is worth keeping. Indeed, plenty of other options exist if United’s wide options are to be augmented in the summer, and the likes of Steven Bergwijn and Goncalo Guedes are currently being circulated as alternatives. The latter is a particularly intriguing name, and neither will break the bank, nor require the departure of Pogba at a potentially revelatory juncture in his United career.