A profile of the young Brazilian winger and comparisons to current AC Milan star Robinho...
You may of heard of him, you may not. His name? Douglas Costa de Souza. The 20 year old winger plays his football in Ukraine with current Champions League competitors Shakhtar Donetsk. Although some thought he may of been off last and this summer with a host of Premier League teams, including Manchester United, eyeing him up. Costa seems satisfied at Donetsk and has decided to stay in Ukraine for yet another season with Lucescu's men.
He does have a high chance of winning atleast one trophy per season with Shakhtar as they are usually big favbourites for the Ukrainian League with Dynamo Kiev being the only serious rivlas for the crown but Shakhtar usually beat them to it, as they did last season. Costa is just 20 years of age yet he has won 2 Ukrainian Premier League titles, 2010 Ukrainian Super Cup and 2011 Ukrainian Cup. Not to forget representing Brazil at U20 level. And he only joined the Ukrainian giants in early January of 2010.
But why have I compared him to the great Robinho? Is he really that good? Well I think so. Not just because they are both Brazilian but the general way they play, pass, run, shoot. Whenever I see Costa play I instantly compare him to Robinho. It's like an automatic trigger that sets off in my mind. Blessed with blistering pace, quick feet, 101 outragous tricks, surprisngly strong for a 5ft 8 winger and possesses a ariel threat. Never happier when driving at the opposition defence. Clearly revels in the liberal attacking enviroment Lucescu has created in Donetsk. A typical South American winger filled with flair and excitement. A player who prides himself in skills and taking on a opponent, just like Robinho. For just a 20 year old kid he also has buckets of experience.
A regular first teamer at Shakhtar, played on the international stage and has a couple of years worth of Champions League experience. Shakhtar have FC Apoel, Russian side Zenit and last season's Europa League winners FC Porto in their Group which is Group G. It'll be a big test for Costa. We shall see if he can walk the walk against the likes of Rolando (Porto). Last season he was up against Dani Alves as Shakhtar played Barcelona in the group stages and he gave him a fair game. Douglas hasn't quite made a name for himself yet on the big stage but I believe he has the potential to be a top, top European player in the future.
The fact that Lucescu has brought in Alan Patrick, a fellow winger who is also 20 years old, from Santos, may suggest Patrick could be a potential replacement for Costa if he was to move on to one of the bigger leagues. Whether the Premier League suits him I don't know.
Obviously he will grow in physique which would help him as the Premier League is a tough division to play in and quite demanding. I genuinely think Douglas will be a first team Brazil interntional someday with the likes of Hulk, who will be in his good late 20's by then and Neymar, who is also a much hyped Brazilian forward. At 20 years old Robinho was playing first team football for Santos and that was argueably the best period of football he played. De Souza is certainly relishing the chance to play week in week out under Lecescu and have the chance to participate in one of the biggest competitions there is in the Champions League.
If Costa was to move, whether that would be in the short term or long term, my guess would be he would be moving for atleast £20m+. We shall see if Costa makes a mark in 5 years time or so and can make a big enough impact as Robinho has in his career. I have high hopes for this player and I certainly believe he has the potential to go all the way and be up there with the greats.
Nevertheless, remember the name - Douglas Costa de Souza.