MOT View: Leeds reap rewards of Bielsa reportedly bending Radrizzani ear on WhatsApp over 25y/o
Helder Costa has emerged as one of the most impressive players for Leeds United in recent weeks with the on-loan winger scoring two goals in his last four outings.
After joining Leeds on a season-long loan from Wolves in the summer transfer window, the 25-year-old initially struggled to break into Marcelo Bielsa’s starting line-up.
Costa had proven himself as a top Championship player in his time at Wolves, scoring 15 goals and supplying 14 assists in 71 second-tier appearances to help the Midlands club achieve promotion to the Premier League.
However Bielsa refused to throw the Portuguese winger straight into his first 11 and instead broke him in slowly as he only made his first Championship start for Leeds on September 28.
Costa was slightly inconsistent in his first few starts for Leeds.
According to stats by WhoScored, he managed just one key pass and only completely three dribbles in his first four starts against the likes of Charlton, West Brom, Millwall and Birmingham.
Costa’s performances were that of a player who might have not been fully up to speed with the way Bielsa sets his team up to play and that could have been why it took him so long to get in the Argentine’s starting line-up.
It was always inevitable that Bielsa would find a key role for Costa.
The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has recently reported on how keen Bielsa was to sign Costa in the summer transfer window that he bent Andrea Radrizzani’s ear “day after day” on WhatsApp to land the former Benfica ace.
Now, it seems, Bielsa’s vision for Costa is being realised.
The tricky winger has now scored his first two Championship goals for Leeds in games against Middlesbrough and Cardiff.
He also supplied the assist for the winner in the 1-0 victory against Reading last month.
Stats by WhoScored show that the one-time Portugal international has made seven key passes in his last three Championship appearances – a huge improvement on his first four league starts for Leeds.
Costa’s also completed four dribbles in his last two outings and it is clear he is becoming more comfortable with Bielsa’s style of football at Elland Road.
It may have taken a few months but Leeds are finally starting to reap the rewards of Bielsa’s insistence towards signing the Wolves winger.
In other Leeds United news, there’s been an update on Leeds’ pursuit of Jarrod Bowen ahead of January.