By David Woods

19th Dec, 2019 | 2:32pm

Leeds have finally found Saiz replacement, set to be key weapon in 2nd half of season - MOT View

This article is part of a regular series from Leeds United Twitter account All Stats Aren’t We – the team also host a brilliant podcast that goes in-depth into the tactics of Marcelo Bielsa and a deeper look at the underlying stats

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After a couple of games out of the Leeds starting lineup, injury to Tyler Roberts meant Pablo Hernandez moved central and Helder Costa returned to the starting 11.

Since then he’s scored twice, made one assist (in the game Roberts got injured) & forced the own goal v Hull.

This radar shows that he can still improve on his end product, as he’s not standing out in goals, assists or key passes. However, as mentioned above, his latest run in the team has begun that upward trend, which he’ll hope to continue.

He’s comfortably above average as a dribbler, completing more than four dribbles per game. This radar doesn’t quite do him justice as the max is pulled higher by a couple of extremely high figures, such as Niclas Eliasson and Kadeem Harris.

The most impressive part of the radar is his ‘touches in the box’. He ranks as joint top in the league for this metric. This shows that he is a constant threat and has been the mark of his recent performances, even when end product hasn’t been forthcoming, he has worked fullbacks.

It was no surprise that the opening goal v Hull came courtesy of him being released behind the fullback and forcing the own goal, then he opened the scoring with an excellent finish v Cardiff again utilising his pace in behind.

With end product steadily improving & knowledge of the tactical system growing, Helder Costa is set to be a key weapon for Leeds in the second half of the season, particularly in the moments where Leeds are able to launch counter-attacks.

Pace and the ability to beat a man is something Leeds lacked after January last season, with Samu Saiz gone and Clarke unwell. Costa could well prove the difference this time around.

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