Leeds United winger Helder Costa showed exactly why Marcelo Bielsa should sell him in this summer transfer window by putting in a woeful display in his side’s 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup second round.
Reports in recent weeks and months have suggested that the Whites were open to letting him go this summer on a permanent basis, as they see him as someone who could be sold for a decent money to then be reinvested into the squad.
That was then followed up by The Athletic’s Phil Hay who revealed that sources in Spain had told him that La Liga clubs, including the likes of Valencia, are monitoring him, although no formal bids had been placed.
On Tuesday night, Costa was given the chance to start from the off and prove to Bielsa why he’s worth keeping around, but instead, delivered the a shocking performance.
Despite his team dominating on their way to a comfortable victory, the Portugal international struggled to really get to grips with the game, despite the gulf in class between the two sides.
As per Sofascore, he actually made fewer passes than goalkeeper Illan Meslier, provided no key passes, failed to complete any dribbles, and saw his two attempts on goal miss the target completely.
Costa just looked far too lightweight, losing six of his 11 total duels, and conceding possession on nine separate occasions – a real indication of the kind of wastefulness with which he played with.
And, in his post-match player ratings for The Yorkshire Evening Post, Graham Smyth gave him a five, saying: “Persisted despite a struggle to make a first half impact and a wild shot when he got a chance. Couldn’t create much danger on the right.”
Those sentiments were followed up by Leeds Live’s Beren Cross, who also gave him a five, adding: “Another ineffectual performance from the winger, despite the quality of the opposition. A performance summed up by the drive inside from the right flank which had everyone on their feet before driving the ball halfway up the Norman Hunter Stand.”
Make no mistake about it, a home tie in the Carabao Cup second round against a side currently lying in 22nd in League One was the perfect chance and audition for Costa to remind Bielsa and the club of the qualities he possesses.
Instead, his abject display surely more than confirmed the feeling that the Portuguese ace simply has to go in the remaining few days of the summer transfer window.
Costa’s time at Elland Road must be over now.