MOT View – Helder Costa, season review
The refrain from MOT Leeds News this season has been “must do better” when it comes to Helder Costa.
He was the summer signing that got the buzz going among fans, with an initial loan period turning into a permanent move for £15m next summer.
That’s a lot of money – it would be the club’s most expensive signing since Rio Ferdinand – and Leeds fans were hoping for the 16/17 Costa from Wolves, the player who electrified the Championship before suffering an injury and fizzling out somewhat.
Unfortunately, we’ve only had glimpses of his full potential, despite the 25-year-old winger starting the last three games because of injury to Pablo Hernandez.
He’s only provided one assist in the league, in the game against Brentford, when he combined brilliantly with Eddie Nketiah to stamp his mark on a game that looked like getting away from Leeds.
He’s fared better against lower-league opposition, with two assists against Salford in the cup, and he scored against Stoke in at competition too, but the fact is, he doesn’t look like a £15m player at the moment.
Plus, Pablo Hernandez should be back after the international break, so where does this leave Costa?
There are a few options. He could find himself on the right, with Hernandez tucked inside, but Leeds have worked well with Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw in the middle.
He could find himself back on the bench and we wouldn’t be surprised if Bielsa dropped him.
Another option is on the left with Jack Harrison dropping out. He’s another player who promises way more than he actually delivers.
Harrison scored in the first game of the season but didn’t deliver any other attacking returns until an assist in the last game. Again, that’s not good enough for a player of Harrison’s talent.
In terms of stats, Costa comes out on top (just), with a much better pass success rate (82% to just 69.9% from Harrison) and more accurate crossing (38.5% to 22.6%), although Costa has been putting in almost three less per game. [WyScout]
Costa is attempting more dribbles, too, with 8.36 per 90 minutes to Harrison’s 6.32.
It’s going to come down to end product, though, and neither are covering themselves in glory here.
You’d think that Marcelo Bielsa will persevere with Costa but we know he thinks highly of Harrison also. However, only one of these players is going to be bought for £15m in the summer.
MOT View: C
In other Leeds news, check our our season review of Patrick Bamford