The Athletic’s Phil Hay dropped a late night Leeds United update on transfer deadline day involving Helder Costa’s loan move to Valencia.
In what was a rollercoaster of a 24 hours for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, the Whites finally managed to land Dan James from Manchester United, before addressing their squad numbers by allowing Costa to make the switch to Spain.
Writing on Twitter just past midnight, Hay said: “Valencia confirm Helder Costa deal. Season loan. Option to buy at the end of it. #lufc”
And an earlier tweet in the evening, he noted: “With Costa, he did play a part in the promotion season, no doubt about that, but he hasn’t been great value for money or made an impact for a while. Upgrade makes sense. #lufc”
Since Victor Orta took over the reins as Leeds’ transfer supremo, the Whites have sealed promotion back to the Premier League, and ended their first season back in the top-flight in the top half of the table.
Much of that of course has to do with the work Bielsa has done with his group of players, but the recruitment has virtually been spot-on, not least with the likes of Raphinha and Illan Meslier who were both superb in the previous campaign and more than proved value for money.
And in a hectic deadline day, Orta managed to get rid of a wildly underperforming Costa, who has managed just eight goals in a whopping 71 games for the Whites, and was dubbed a “massive flop” by Noel Whelan earlier this year.
The fact an option to buy was included in the deal to send the Portuguese ace to Valencia gives Leeds a bit of breathing room. If he performs well there, then the Whites could see that option being taken up and eventually recouping some money. If he doesn’t, then at least they’ve taken his wages off the book for this entire season.
That, followed up by the signing of James from United means as Hay says, Leeds get a real “upgrade”, with the Welshman of course having played top-level football with United in the Champions League and Europa League in his time at Old Trafford.
At just 23, he’s also considerably younger than Costa, while the fact Hay has indicated Bielsa and Orta have tracked him for some time, dating back to his days in the U23s for Swansea, is a real indication of just how highly they rate him.
Leeds’ deadline day business has all the hallmarks of being yet another Orta masterclass at Elland Road.