‘Diego Costa would add character to Arsenal squad’ – Gallas talks past, present & future at the Emirates

Diego Costa Atletico Madrid 2018-19
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The former Gunners defender has sought to defend Nicolas Pepe from critics of his form, while admitting that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is struggling

Diego Costa would add much-needed “character” to Arsenal’s squad if Mikel Arteta decided to make a move for the former Chelsea striker, says William Gallas, with a proven Spain international currently available as a free agent.

A man who has savoured title successes in La Liga and the Premier League has been released from the final months of his contract at Atletico Madrid.

Costa, who previously thrived in English football across three productive years at Stamford Bridge between 2014 and 2017, is now waiting on enticing offers.

Gallas believes that Arsenal could do worse than join the hunt for the fiery 32-year-old, with the Gunners having struggled for firepower at times in 2020-21.

The former defender told PlayOJO of Costa: “He would bring character to the squad. He just wants to win games.

“If his team-mate doesn’t play well, he will shout at them during the game and sometimes I think this is good. Sometimes, when I’m watching Arsenal, they don’t show any reaction when they concede, and someone like Costa will shout to the guys ‘Wake up!’, which can boost the players.

“If he comes to Arsenal, he will cause a lot of problems for defenders but it might also mean Alexandre Lacazette going on the bench again.”

Arteta has seen a number of senior stars flatter to deceive this season, with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe among those left scratching around for form.

Gallas admits the Ivorian winger has disappointed, but says that is not entirely his fault, with the Frenchman adding: “Who put the money on the table for Pepe? It wasn’t Pepe. Arsenal decided to put £72m on the table.

“Football is crazy now. If you play well for a few games, your value goes up and clubs put crazy money on the table. Right now, Pepe isn’t convincing anyone so now I hope this is a lesson to football clubs not to spend crazy money on players. People were surprised when they saw £72m on the table for Pepe, but it wasn’t his fault. It was the fault of the club.”

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Club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another to have frustrated at times this season, scoring just six goals, with Gallas saying of a 31-year-old striker who is now tied to a lucrative new contract: “For the last few years, Aubameyang played very well for Arsenal, but at the moment, his performances haven’t been at the top.

“Maybe he is tired. As a striker you can change people’s mind very quickly, you just need to score then everyone will forget the poor performances.

“Since he signed the contract, his performances haven’t been the same. At the moment he’s not in good shape but I’m sure he will come back, so I say don’t be too hard on him.”