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Initially, Costa had competition up front from fellow new signings Alberto Bueno and Manucho, signed from Real Madrid and Manchester United respectively; he eventually forged a friendship with the latter, a fellow lusophone, from Angola.
but only found the net once in the following five-and-a-half months as the campaign eventually ended in relegation from La Liga.
Jair played on the same team as Diego, and was a slimmer, more technically able player, but had less focus; the two were often not fielded at the same time in order to prevent arguments.
He was sent off in a goalless draw against Espanyol on 24 March 2010 for a stamp on Dídac Vilà in the first half.
In June 2010, Costa returned to the Colchoneros, initially as a backup to Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán – Atlético also paid an undisclosed sum to Braga to buy all the residual 30% economic rights (the former also had to pay in excess of €833,000 in agent's fees to Gestifute That December, Costa was involved in several on-field altercations in two separate matches.
Atlético defeated interest from Porto and Recreativo de Huelva for Costa's signature, with director Jesús García Pitarch admitting that it was a risk to pay so much for an inexperienced player.
On 23 February, he came on in the 71st minute for Zé Carlos and scored his first goal for the team, a last-minute goal for a 1–0 win at Parma to advance 2–0 on aggregate to the Last 16 of the UEFA Cup.