When Helder Costa completed his switch to Leeds United last summer, Marcelo Bielsa would no doubt have been hoping for some big things from his big-money signing.
With reports claiming that Leeds spent around £16m to sign him on a permanent deal from fellow Premier League side Wolves, it’d be fair to assume that Bielsa would have expected a lot more from one of the club’s most expensive signings in recent memory.
Instead, the 27-year-old has really struggled at Premier League level, managing just two goals in 19 top-flight games for the Yorkshire club, and playing less than 1000 minutes in the competition.
Now, CIES value him at just £6m, less than half of what the Whites actually paid Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to bring him to Elland Road permanently.
His performances this season have really struggled for any kind of consistency, and his recent form has been the perfect snapshot of that – after coming off the bench to score against Arsenal at the Emirates, he popped up with an assist against Southampton a couple of games later. Since then however, he’s delivered nothing, and was promptly dropped from the side by Bielsa for the 2-1 win over Fulham.
And, after a particularly disappointing display against Aston Villa back in late February, former Leeds man Noel Whelan tore into the winger for failing to take his chance.
He 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.”
Now, reports in recent days and weeks have claimed that Leeds are willing to listen to offers for Costa in this upcoming summer transfer window, with the club having earmarked him as someone who could be sold to raise some funds for improvements elsewhere.
Given how his market value has dropped considerably, it would certainly be a major surprise if Leeds got anywhere near the kind of money that they actually paid to sign him.
It surely has Andrea Radrizzani fuming about Leeds’ blunder to commit to paying such a large chunk of money for Costa in the first place.