With just one win in their last five Premier League games, it’s fair to say Leeds United have just hit a bit of a roadblock in the second half of this season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side slipped to yet another defeat in the top flight when they lost 2-0 to West Ham last Monday, with goals from Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson enough to ensure their poor form continued.
One man who really let his manager down in the game at the London Stadium was Helder Costa. The Portuguese winger looked completely off the pace in the game, and it’s a showing that arguably warrants him being dropped from the starting line-up for the clash against Chelsea on early Saturday afternoon.
His long-term future at Elland Road also appears to be in question amid suggestions that, with any potential summer signings, Costa may be one of the fall guys.
Responding to a question in The Athletic‘s post-match Q&A after the clash against West Ham, Phil Hay said: “You get the feeling that if changes are coming in the summer, those two (Costa and Tyler Roberts) will be at risk. The consistent impact isn’t there.”
Costa just hasn’t cut it at Premier League level, with a measly return of just two goals in 18 outings in the competition this term. Throwing him into the starting line-up like Bielsa has done over the past couple of weeks has just held Leeds back, and it’s something that former Leeds man Noel Whelan picked up on quite recently.
Speaking after his performance against Aston Villa, the 46-year-old said: “Costa was given his opportunity and once again he did not take it. We are talking about a £16m player here who did not effect the game in any way shape or form. He needs to show consistency. You need to make that position your own when your manager puts his trust in you from the start.
“I saw absolutely nothing from him against Aston Villa. Nothing suggested to me that he has given Marcelo Bielsa a headache with that performance.”
After Costa’s anonymous display against the Hammers, it’s certainly time for Bielsa to ruthlessly axe the £70k-per-week winger from his starting line-up; and that could spell bad news for his long-term future, too, given what Hay has said.