Date: 11th July 2019 at 5:30pm
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OPINION

West Ham would surely be pulling off one of the deals of the summer if they were to sign Atletico Madrid centre-forward Diego Costa.

Former Hammers right-back Glen Johnson has tipped Costa, 30, to make a move to the London Stadium before the start of next season after the Daily Mail reported that the Spain international could leave Atletico due to a strained relationship with the La Liga giants.

BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Johnson is a massive fan of Costa and has admitted that he can see the ex-Chelsea striker wearing the claret and blue kit of West Ham in the Premier League.

“For me, he’s a fantastic player,” Johnston told talkSPORT on Thursday, as shown in a video on their official Twitter account. “He’s one of those players that you’d love to have him on your side but, he’s a nightmare to play against.”

Jim White then asked Johnson to name a club that would be a “good fit” for Costa, to which the ex-Chelsea defender replied: “I could see it happening at West Ham. I can see him somewhere like that.

“The club have shown over years if they want someone then they will go get them and they could pay Diego the wages that no doubt he would demand.

“I reckon he’d strive being a big fish in a smaller pond as well.

“I would love to see him back and obviously I would love to see him play for West Ham.”

It’s hard to disagree with Johnson because when Costa played in the Premier League, he bullied defenders, provided an outlet for attacking midfielders and most importantly, scored goals for fun.

In his 89 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, Costa scored 52 goals and supplied 18 assists as he won the title on two occasions.

He returned to Atletico Madrid in January 2018 but hasn’t had the best of second spells with the Spanish giants as last season he 19 starts across all competitions and scored just five goals.

Although Costa didn’t do well in 2018/19, it is more than likely down to the fact that he had to undergo surgery on his foot in December and has not had the best of relationship with his bosses at the Wanda Metropolitano.

If he was to return to the Premier League with West Ham, we’d no doubt see the forward back to his bullish best, especially as the Irons are in desperate need of strikers after seeing Marko Arnautovic join Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll in leaving the London Stadium this summer.

Manuel Pellegrini only has strikers Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill to choose from in his senior squad at the moment and Costa would no doubt be a major upgrade on both of them based on his proven goalscoring record in the Premier League and towering presence in attack.

Hugill is Championship standard, as proven by his miserable loan spell at Middlesbrough last term, and Hernandez has failed to live up to expectations at the London Stadium.

Costa is a brute, who will have something to prove by returning to the Premier League and West Ham fans will surely erupt at the sight of him in claret and blue next term, if Pellegrini can pull off a deal for the Spain ace.