Free agent Diego Costa would ‘bring character’ to Arsenal, claims William Gallas

The striker's contract at Atletico was terminated
The striker’s contract at Atletico was terminated (Picture: Getty Images)

William Gallas says former Chelsea striker Diego Costa would add ‘character’ to Arsenal’s squad with his ability to spark his team-mates into action.

Costa became a free agent at the end of December after agreeing to terminate his contract with Atletico Madrid six months early.

The 32-year-old was a nemesis of the Gunners during his three-year spell at Stamford Bridge in which he scored an impressive 52 goals and helped fire the Blues to two Premier League titles.

Costa coming in would mean Lacazette dropping to the bench, says Gallas
Costa coming in would mean Lacazette dropping to the bench, says Gallas (Picture: Getty Images)

But Costa made just seven appearances at Atletico this season due to a combination of injuries and increased competition for his place in Diego Simeone’s side.

The Spaniard is now available on a free transfer in January, and ex-Arsenal and Chelsea defender Gallas believes the Gunners could benefit from the striker’s fiery nature.

‘He would bring character to the squad,’ Gallas told PlayOJO.

‘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.’

Arsenal’s winning streak came to an end on Thursday night as they were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace.

The Gunners were previously on a torrid run of form, but have picked up 10 points from their last four games to lift them to 11th place.

Gallas has been critical of Mikel Arteta in the past, but believes he deserves plaudits for turning things around at the Emirates.

‘You have to give Arteta credit, he has shown real character and it’s not easy, but he has proven he has a strong character,’ Gallas added.

‘He didn’t change his system or the way Arsenal play. So maybe because the players now understand what Arteta wants from them, they are preforming better.

‘The game against Chelsea was a real turning point and since then, they are still winning. Arteta can be the right manager (for the club) but we will judge him at the end of the season.

‘If they qualify for the Europa League or not will determine if he’s been a success.’

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