Koke: Costa not a guaranteed starter

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has welcomed Diego Costa’s impending return to the club but warned he was not a guaranteed starter.

The central midfielder was a teammate of the 28-year-old during his last stint in the Spanish capital, before he departed to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2014.

“He knows there are great players in our team,” Koke told reporters at an event on Thursday.

“There is plenty of competition – he will have to earn a place, we are having a great season and it is good that Diego comes to make us better.

“I am always glad when an important player joins the group to help us to improve, and also because I had a special link with Diego.

“Every time I had the ball, I knew his next move, and he knew that I was going to give it to him, virtually every pass was a goal.”

Atleti already have a wealth of attacking talent including Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro, Angel Correa, Luciano Vietto and Fernando Torres.

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