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Diogo Costa Scout Report: Manchester United in the market for a new goalkeeper

Diogo Costa has been linked with a move to Manchester United. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has had a relatively promising start to his time as Manchester United manager but it’s no secret that he still needs numerous reinforcements to get United challenging for major titles again.

A position United may look to improve in the summer is the goalkeeper position. David de Gea has been in fine form so far this season, however, his future at Manchester United is uncertain. Should he leave Old Trafford, one player The Red Devils are scouting is Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.

Date of Birth: 19/09/1999 (23)
Position: Goalkeeper
Strong Foot: Right
Height: 1,86 m (6ft 1in)

Who is he?

Diogo Costa is currently one of the most exciting up-and-coming goalkeepers in world football. He joined Porto as a child and has moved up the ranks to become their no.1 goalkeeper. Costa has recently signed a new contract with the Portuguese giants which is valid until June 2027 and it also includes a release clause in the region of €75 million. His new contract may make it harder for any potential suitors to sign him in the summer but should David de Gea leave Manchester United, Costa would probably be the best replacement United could sign. 


Diogo Costa is the quintessential modern-day goalkeeper. His distribution is outstanding, and he often helps his team start attacks. Against teams that press high up the pitch, he’s capable of playing good passes out to the fullbacks to beat the press of the opponent. So far this season in the Portuguese league, Costa has completed 74% of his passes while De Gea has only completed 64% of his passes in the Premier League. Costa has also completed 40% of his long-range passes which is also better than De Gea, who’s completed 34% of his long-range passes.

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In addition to his elite distribution, he’s always outstanding at coming off his line and sweeping which is crucial for a goalkeeper in the modern day.

Costa is also great at commanding his area and claiming crosses. His shot-stopping ability is also very good. There’s no doubt that David De Gea is one of the best shot-stoppers football has ever seen. However, Costa has saved 78% of the shots he faced in the Portuguese league this season while De Gea has saved 63% of shots he’s faced in the Premier League. However, it is important to note that this stat doesn’t consider how good the shots have been.

The Portuguese international is also brilliant at saving penalties. In the Champions League so far this season, he’s faced 4 penalties and has saved 3 of them.

When you think of ‘the modern-day goalkeeper’, you think of someone who’s good at distribution, good at commanding the area and claiming crosses, good at coming off the line and sweeping as well as someone who’s a good shot-stopper. Costa ticks every single one of those boxes. €75m for a goalkeeper is a lot of money but many may argue that it’s worth it for a goalkeeper of his quality.


There are genuinely no major weaknesses to Costa’s game. In terms of what many managers want from a goalkeeper, he seems to be very well-rounded at such a tender age.

Where would he fit in at United?

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David de Gea’s contract at United expires in the summer however, United have the option to extend his current deal till June 2024. At this stage, it’s not yet clear whether Ten Hag will decide to give him a new long-term deal or replace him. According to various reports, Manchester United have scouted Costa and he’s one of the options they make look to sign should Erik ten Hag deem David De Gea surplus to requirements.

If United do sign Costa to replace De Gea, he could go on to become United’s no.1 goalkeeper for the next 10-15 years. He is an elite player with everything needed to be a successful goalkeeper in the modern game. His €75 million release clause may be off putting to some but should United sign him, the Old Trafford club would hope that they’d be able to do a deal for less than what his release clause is.

It’s wise to remember that United also have Dean Henderson who’s currently on loan at Nottingham Forest. However, the prospect of the shot-stopper having a long-term future at Old Trafford is currently unlikely, according to various reports,


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Costa is an elite goalkeeper and he’d be the ideal replacement for David De Gea should the Spaniard leave. When Ten Hag took over at Old Trafford, many people were adamant that he’d have to replace David De Gea. However, despite a rough start to the season, De Gea has really improved significantly over the last few weeks. He’s been more proactive in coming off his line and his distribution has also gotten a lot better. His performance against Spurs was genuinely one of his best for Manchester United over the last few years and he didn’t even have to make many saves. His distribution was just simply outstanding in that game and it really helped United’s build-up play. The Spaniard’s shot-stopping has also been outstanding this season, especially against West Ham, but that’s the one thing you could never really criticise him for.

There’s no doubting Costa’s brilliance but if United have to pay the full €75 million release clause to get him, it may be better to look elsewhere. As good as the Portuguese international is, €75 million is a lot of money to invest in a goalkeeper. Should David De Gea continue to improve throughout the rest of the season, giving him a new contract may be the best option. If Ten Hag comes to the conclusion that De Gea isn’t good enough to play his style of football, there are also other really good goalkeepers United could look at such as Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Brentford’s David Raya. Both are quality goalkeepers who’d suit Erik ten Hag’s system and they’d also both likely be affordable. Another potential option is Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon, who is reportedly on United’s list.

De Gea should be given the rest of the season to prove himself. Once the season is over, Ten Hag should have had enough time to evaluate De Gea and decide what’s the best next step to take, whether that’s to give De Gea a new deal, signing a new keeper or even maybe even giving Dean Henderson a chance.

Founder/Owner of UnitedConstantly

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