The Chalkboard: Three areas Helder Costa has to improve in to revive career

Last week Express & Star claimed that Helder Costa was wanted on loan by Leeds.

The talented forward has endured a torrid time in the Premier League since being promoted with Wolves in 2017/18, scoring just once as he was pushed behind the dynamic Diogo Jota in the pecking order.

Costa was once one of the best players in the Wolves squad, possessing incredible amounts of talent and potential. However, playing at a higher level, he’s not been able to display the type of performances we had become accustomed to.

One of the first of a bunch of Portuguese players to arrive at Molineux, he’s now merely a peripheral figure.

It’s no surprise to see a possible loan move away on the cards, but if he is to revive his career he’ll need to improve in three key areas.

On the chalkboard

Considering Wolves’ lack of squad depth it’s a damning indictment that Nuno Santo sees him as surplus to requirements.

A loan move away could do him the world of good but if he doesn’t improve in certain areas it’s difficult to see him ever fitting into Nuno’s starting XI.

The 25-year-old was once a constant threat in attacking phases of play, contributing to 18 goals in his first season in English football.

His next season saw him rack up 11 goal involvements but in 2018/19 that’s shrunk to just three. The need to get better in the final third is evident.

Crunching the numbers, the amount of crosses he makes per game has taken a drastic hit. In 2016/17, he was making 1.6 a match. Last term that was at a measly 0.1. Given Jota’s creativity, this simply has to improve if Costa is to find a route back into Nuno’s side.

Is it unrealistic to expect another top half finish from Wolves next season? HRH discusses in the video below…

As for shots per game, the Portuguese also got himself into less scoring positions. During his first campaign in England he’d average 1.8 but in the Premier League it has decreased to just one.

In terms of key passes, improvement will also have to be made. During the forward’s first year he cut teams open with 1.7 passes a match but that figure is now only 0.7.

In the Championship, it’s clear Costa is a brilliant player. If he makes a loan switch to Leeds, he can use that to his advantage to potentially work his way back into favour at Molineux.