While Leeds United did manage to secure the arrivals of players such as Daniel James, Junior Firpo and Kristoffer Klaesson in the recently closed transfer window, as well as making Jack Harrison’s loan deal a permanent move, there was plenty more outgoing activity than incoming business for the Whites this summer.
Indeed, all six of Barry Douglas, Ezgjan Alioski, Ouasim Bouy, Pablo Hernandez, Jordan Stevens and Robbie Gotts left Elland Road on free transfers, while Victor Orta also sanctioned the temporary departures of five players on loan deals.
One of the latter group was Helder Costa, with the 27-year-old winger being sent to Valencia following the deadline day arrival of Manchester United forward James.
And, with the Portugal international’s current contract with Leeds United set to expire at the end of the season, Costa should well have played his last game for the Premier League side.
While it would be slightly harsh to say that Helder Costa did not contribute anything to Marcelo Bielsa’s side during his time at Elland Road, it is nevertheless clear that the winger is simply not of the standard required to be a part of the Argentine’s first-team squad.
While the £9m-rated man did score four goals, provide four assists and create five big chances over his 43 Championship appearances in the Whites’ promotion-winning campaign back in 2019/20, you would be hard-pressed to find a Leeds fan who now believes that the £15.93m fee their club paid to subsequently sign the forward was money well spent.
Indeed, over his 22 Premier League appearances for Bielsa’s side last season, only 13 of which came as starts, Costa earned a quite frankly diabolical seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.46, ranking him as Leeds’ second-worst performer in the top flight of English football – ahead of only young defender Leif Davis.
As such, it would seem highly advisable for United to allow the £36k-per-week forward to move onto pastures upon his return from Valencia at the end of the season, as Costa has very much been stealing a living at Leeds for the past year.