Danny da Costa joins Bayer Leverkusen
The familiar custom of German clubs carrying those numbers in their logos and in their names must be known to everyone as the last 2 digits mean the year they were found on, as in Schalke 04( founded in 1904) and Hannover 96 (1896). You might expect FC Ingolstadt 04 popularly known as Die Schanzer, a club hailing from a small town in Bavaria, to have the similar naming reasons. But what is the year of formation that you would predict? 1904 without a doubt.
Wrong. You were caught right there. Blimey! Ingolstadt is just 12 years old. Their remarkable story of transforming from a 5th tier club back in “2004”, playing out a scoreless draw with now-seventh division Schwabach to become a first tier Bundesliga club on the back of just 4.5 million Euros spent in the entirety of the club’s transfer history is some story to be told. But let me savor it for another occasion.
This Bavarian town club has been taking the Bundesliga by surprise. They have confirmed their stay in the top flight for yet another year and the critics have come to an agreement that they aren’t paying Lady Luck to be on their side.
Players like Danny Da Costa, Marvin Matip, Pascal GroB and Markus Suttner are the players of top flight level. There is no surprise in the fact that Danny is one of the many Ingolstadt players who have been hit up by other top Bundesliga clubs and the first one from the club to be signed by a top club, namely Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
So How good is he?
To start with, Ingolstadt have been the best defensive side excluding the top 3 and Hertha Berlin as per in-game stats. Danny Da Costa is part of a solid, rock hard defense; having conceded goals in the 30’s range only as good as Dortmund and Leverkusen.
Ingolstadt’s game itself has been defensive in nature. It would be unfair if we analyze Costa’s attacking stats. He has been shining in his defensive capabilities as expected. Compared with the best right backs of this season, Da Costa has done exceptionally well defensively as 1.7 tackles(2nd best), a successful take ons percentage of 61.5% (league’s best), 2.32 interceptions(2nd best), 0.23 blocks(3rd best) and 2.78 clearances(joint 2nd best).
These stats are completely impressive for a player who has been having his first proper Bundesliga season (his stint with Leverkusen were substitute appearances 5 years back), starting every possible match and his stats prove that he has fit into the Ingolstadt’s defensive side of the game very well.
This is the very department Leverkusen have been lacking in for the whole season. Or at least one of the departments. They had Roberto Hilbert, Tin Jedvaj, and Giulio Donati, all of whom had long stints on the sidelines due to injuries. Roberto Hilbert is anyways a failure who is also known as Lord Hilbert. He has acquired such a famed reputation for being a penalty maker that Bundesliga’s official youtube channel (Not kidding,they actually have one) made a video on him. Poor passing, bad marking, and reading ability renders him weak on the pitch and added to this, his injuries make him even poor.
Tin Jedvaj was one right back who won the ‘Croatia – Promising Player of the Year’ award a season back for his debut performances. He has all the youth in him and the best of abilities to make it big in the coming years. But his age, and simply put, playing on a new stage (German football being different and more technical than the football in Croatia or Italy), means he has had to be a lot more aggressive when it comes to defending and we do not see the prowling Jedvaj that we see up front when he couples with Karim Bellarabi. He has earned 2 red cards within a span of 4 days this season, forcing Bellarabi to play RB at a time when the trustable Donati was also poorly sold by the Leverkusen board.
Needing a lot of depth and giving some tough competition to Jedvaj to screw his head back tight a bit, is why Leverkusen have signed Danny. Danny himself is very talented and has been a fan favorite for Leverkusen in his early days with the club. He is a homegrown player at the BayArena who later parted ways to Ingolstadt. Adding to this, his youthful age of 22 provides more solidity to the transfer move.
With all due respect and hopes, may Danny Da Costa prove himself for Leverkusen and become a mainstay for years to come as the side from Cologne aim to become the third power of Bundesliga in the long term.