Arkadiusz Milik to Atletico Madrid: How does he compare to Diego Costa?

Emmet Gates
Emmet Gates
  • Updated:
  • 3 min read
Arkadiusz Milik to Atletico Madrid: How does he compare to Diego Costa?
© ProShots

Atletico Madrid have been linked with Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik after officially releasing Diego Costa from his contract. Costa, 32, was seeing out his final months with the club.

Costa’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season. However, the Spanish side have opted to terminate it early, and allow the Spanish forward the opportunity to join another club in the January transfer window.

Boss Diego Simeone has made it clear that he expects a replacement for Costa.

Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik has been touted as a possible replacement for Costa.

Milik has been frozen out of the Napoli squad due to issues with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis. The Pole was due to sign for Roma last summer, however the deal collapsed as Edin Dzeko’s move to Juventus didn’t transpire in light of the Turinese club opting to re-sign Alvaro Morata.

Milik has since been on the sidelines, despite being fit. Now Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Atletico are interested in bringing the 26-year-old to the Metropolitano Stadium in January.

It’s thought that Napoli are demanding a fee of around €18m (£15m) for the striker, and Atletico face competition from Juventus for his services.

So how does Milik compare to the recently-departed Costa?

Diego Costa 2019/20 Stats#
Air Challenges Won32%
Stats courtesy of InStat

As we can see from above, both players produced a similar output last season.

Arkadiusz Milik 2019-20 Stats#
Air Challenges Won38%
Stats courtesy of InStat

Both players started the same amount of games last season (22), but Milik scored more goals. However, Costa provided five assists for his Atletico teammates, whilst Milik tended to be on the end of service, as he contributed no assists last term.

Milik also hit his xG target last season, with 15 goals. Costa, by contrast, failed to meet the mark.

The Pole, who is of similar physical stature to the Spaniard, also won more aerial headers than Costa, surprisingly.

Is Milik a good Costa replacement?

The Poland international would be a good alternative to Costa, either in January or in the summer.

Should both club and player hold off until next summer for his arrival, as a free signing, Milik would prove to be very good value for Atletico.

He would offer the same dynamics as Costa, without the 32-year-old’s infamous temper and penchant for getting sent off. Furthermore, Milik is also adept at free-kicks, with the striker netting several during his time in Naples.

Whilst it’s difficult to see Milik breaking up the Joao Felix-Luis Suarez partnership that Diego Simeone has preferred this season, Milik could offer a worthwhile solution, especially off the bench.

But it remains to be seen whether Atletico will splash the cash in January to sign the 26-year-old, especially given that they could sign him for free in June.

But Milik certainly makes for a good Costa replacement.