Newcastle United ended their seek for a brand new goalkeeper with the seize of Nick Pope from Burnley over the summer season, with the England worldwide becoming a member of the Magpies for a payment of simply £10m following the Clarets’ relegation.
That price ticket is already trying like one thing of a discount such has been the 30-year-old’s influence at St James’ Park to this point, having helped kind a part of a defensive unit that has shipped simply 11 targets this season – the greatest document within the division.
Issues might properly have panned out in a different way through the current window, nonetheless, with experiences in Portugal suggesting that the Tynesiders have been holding an in depth eye on Porto goalkeeper, Diogo Costa.
The 23-year-old – who has additionally been linked with Manchester United of late – has little question gained notable admirers attributable to his penalty-saving heroics in current instances, having already made three spot-kick saves within the Champions League up to now this season, whereas additionally even registering an help within the 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Regardless of that kind – which has earned the ‘keeper a brand new long-term deal that features a reported launch clause of round £65m – there are seemingly lingering considerations over his high quality between the sticks, with Eddie Howe and co having probably been sensible to keep away from pursuing a deal.
A notable instance of the Portuguese’ flaws got here final yr as his facet have been on the receiving finish of a 5-1 drubbing by the hands of Liverpool on the Estadio do Dragao, with the Switzerland-born colossus producing one thing of a goalkeeping disasterclass on the night time.
The 6 foot 1 man notably flapped at an inswinging cross within the build-up to Mohamed Salah’s opener, earlier than bizarrely failing to cope with a James Milner cross into the field after being left in no man’s land, as Sadio Mane tapped residence on the again put up.
That grim night received even worse after the break because the teenager charged out of his objective in an try to forestall the Anfield outfit from getting in behind, solely to be left scrambling as Roberto Firmino rolled in from distance into the empty internet that he had vacated.
Such erratic moments have additionally now been showcased on the worldwide stage on the World Cup, with the highly-coveted asset having notably produced quite a few ‘iffy moments‘ within the event up to now, as acknowledged by the Impartial’s Kieran Jackson.
Essentially the most notable instance of such woes got here within the opening recreation win over Ghana, with the 11-cap dud having so almost value his facet on the loss of life in that 3-2 victory, after failing to understand that opposition striker Inaki Williams was behind him as he dropped the ball to the bottom.
Fortunately for his sake, the Athletic Bilbao man slipped after poaching the ball inside the realm, with Costa considerably seeing his blushes spared as Fernando Santos’ males clinched an important win.
Nonetheless, the younger stopper was notably criticised by journalist Josh Bunting for his total efficiency, stating:
“Diogo Costa is an excellent promising younger keeper however he’s appeared shaky this afternoon.
“His distribution has been poor, the targets I don’t assume he might do a lot in regards to the precise end however he wasn’t convincing from crosses after which that second of insanity on the finish. Simply so nervy.”
That evaluation seemingly encapsulates his event as a complete with the Porto man having conceded 5 targets in his 4 outings and stored only one clear sheet, whereas additionally squandering possession on common 11 instances per recreation and recording only a 6.7 common match score, as per Sofascore.
Even through the 6-1 thrashing of the nation of his start within the spherical of 16 the Magpies goal additionally had a ‘couple of wobbles‘ – within the phrases of 90min’s Sean Walsh – having did not persuade as but in Qatar.
On the proof of such shows, Newcastle chief Dan Ashworth might properly have dodged a bullet by not bringing Costa to the membership, whereas the hope will likely be that extra current experiences of the membership’s curiosity show to be unfounded…