(Reuters) – Wolverhampton Wanderers have signed Diego Costa on a free transfer, the Premier League club said on Monday, with the former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker being parachuted in amid an ongoing injury crisis.
Austrian striker Sasa Kalajdzic, Wolves’ new 18 million euros ($18.24 million) recruit, sustained a knee ligament injury on his debut while Mexico forward Raul Jimenez was sidelined with a groin injury.
Costa, 33, was a free agent after leaving Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in January and after passing a medical last week he has signed a one-year deal with Wolves, subject to international clearance.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Diego Costa to Wolves, and back to the Premier League,” Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said in a statement.
“A serial winner with a wealth of experience at the highest level, Diego will bring something unique to our dressing room and on the pitch, and we look forward to his impact at Molineux and Compton this season.”
A striker was the need of the hour for Wolves, who have scored only three goals in six league games — the least among all 20 teams.
Costa built a reputation as a formidable number nine at Chelsea between 2014-2017, scoring 59 goals in all competitions and guiding the London club to two Premier League titles after he signed for a 32 million pounds ($37.38 million) transfer fee.
He finished as the club’s top scorer in all three seasons before a fallout with then-manager Antonio Conte led to a swift exit and a return to Spanish side Atletico Madrid.
In his two spells at Atletico, he scored 83 times, winning two LaLiga titles and the Europa League.
Wolves are 14th in the league standings with just one win and next host Manchester City on Saturday.
($1 = 0.9867 euros)($1 = 0.8562 pounds)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)