It’s quite staggering, really, that Diego Costa never received a single red card during any of his 89 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.
He did get sent off in the FA Cup for confronting Everton’s Gareth Barry, but given the Spanish striker literally never stopped fighting the opposition, his disciplinary record in England was actually rather impressive.
He will be remembered by every other club’s fan base for being an absolute menace.
During his time in England, Costa was the pantomime villain, the master of the dark arts whose ferocious nature made him public enemy No.1 everywhere but Stamford Bridge.
Always keen for a fight, he developed a reputation for his constant scrapping with defenders as much as his goalscoring prowess.
Like Luis Suarez, he’s one of those players that every supporter would want at their club, even though we love to hate them.
It’s no surprise Jose Mourinho chose ‘animal’ when asked for one word to describe his former striker in a 2019 interview.
His arrival, alongside Cesc Fabregas, all but won Chelsea the title under Mourinho during the 2014/15 campaign as Costa hit the ground running with 20 goals.
A below-par year followed, for all of the Chelsea squad, but Costa was back at it under Antonio Conte, bagging 22 goals as the Blues cruised to the title in the 2016/17 campaign.
But then his relationship with Conte turned sour after the Italian sent a text message informing Costa he was not part of Chelsea’s future plans.
After spending the first half of the season exiled in Brazil, Costa forced through a move back to Atletico in September, which went through officially in January once the club’s transfer ban expired.
But three years later, something similar has happened in Spain.
Costa told Atletico to terminate his contract and allow him to leave on a free transfer next month – citing personal reasons.
With Costa one of the club’s highest earners and having become surplus to requirements behind Luis Suarez and Joao Felix, that request was promptly granted by Atletico.
Could the former Chelsea man now be on his way back to England?
Spanish outlet AS reports that the Gunners have been following Costa’s situation for some time and remain very attentive to events.
Mikel Arteta’s side have struggled for goals this season and there has been criticism that that they are too nice.
Costa would certainly change that and, at 32, appears to still have plenty of years left in him at the top level.
His previous spell in the Premier League was the most prolific of his career, having plundered 52 goals in his 89 appearances for Chelsea.