Liverpool’s first choice left back target this summer is 19-year-old Leicester City starlet Ben Chilwell, a player recommended to Jürgen Klopp by longtime friend, former Borussia Dormund reserve coach, and Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner after Chilwell impressed on loan at Huddersfield last year.
Leicester City, though, have so far been holding out for a £10M transfer fee for the largely unproven Chilwell, who has made a total of three senior appearances for Leicester, all of them in either the FA or League Cup. And Liverpool are widely reported as being unwilling to spend that much on a largely unproven left back.
That means we now get to spend the next few weeks reading about Plan B and Plan C and Plan Q while the club act like they’re ready to move on from Chilwell, all while hoping that it leads Leicester in a more compromising direction. Things kicked off on Tuesday with links to Scotland and Hull City left back Andy Robertson.
And today we get another name added to the mix, Atletico Mineiro left back Douglas Santos. Like Robertson, the young Brazilian being added to the list of options at left back is 22 years old. According to reports in Brazil that have since been picked up by the English press, it’s likely he could be had for around £7.5-8M.
It’s probably no coincidence that that’s just about the fee Liverpool would likely be willing to meet in the middle over with Leicester for Chilwell. Still, on the off chance rumours of Douglas Santos interest represent a real fallback option, a little bit of background on the young Brazilian being linked does seem in order.
Costa was a regular for Brazil at the youth levels, though so far has only been called on once by the senior side. He looked to have gotten his move to Europe in 2013, when Granada bought him. However, he failed to stick at the Andalusian club, first being loaned to Udinese, then sold to Udinese, then loaned back to Brazil.
Last summer, Udinese sold him to Atletico Mineiro for €3M, around the same fee he had been bought for first by Granada and then Udinese the two pervious summers. He’s a decently pacy fullback with a preference for going to ground in defence and getting high up the pitch in attack. He remains a raw prospect.
If Liverpool were to bring him in, it would be as a developmental option to Alberto Moreno, who is just a year older. There would also be some question as to whether Costa would be granted a work permit or if—perhaps more likely—he would need to be loaned to a club on the continent for a season to try and earn one.