Gaining promotion to the Premier League, Helder Costa was an integral part of the Leeds United side. The Portugal international had a hand in 13 goals during his 45 Championship appearances for Leeds last season, but he was crucial to many attacking moves and getting the Whites up the table. Now, his future might be in doubt after Wednesday night.
Costa, 26, had played 10 games for Leeds before Wednesday night’s win over Newcastle in the Premier League this season. But he has lost his place to Raphinha and in substitute outings against Everton – he missed a sitter from two yards out, and West Ham – he gave away the free-kick which saw the Hammers score the winner.
On Wednesday, he was not even on the bench. Pablo Hernandez, Ian Poveda and Tyler Roberts were named in the 18-man squad. But £16million signing Costa was nowhere to be seen. After the match, Marcelo Bielsa was asked if Costa had an injury – to which the Argentine replied with a simple three-word response – “No, no injury,” as per Leeds Live.
So, with January approaching, should – and could – Costa be looking at leaving Leeds? It must be stressed that he has only missed the one game against Newcastle but with Leeds having won the match so convincingly, it is unlikely that Costa will win back his place on the bench for Sunday’s outing against Manchester United.
Leeds spent £16million only in the summer to sign him, too. But Costa is one of Leeds highest-paid players given the transfer – with Spotrac claiming he earns £32,500 a week. Certainly, he will feel like he has earned game time and will be frustrated that he has not only been replaced in the starting XI – but that Poveda and Hernandez were preferred to the ex-Monaco man.
Costa will surely be considering his options with January approaching. Right now, no rash decision needs to be made given it was only the first time. But if he fails to return to the squad over the Christmas period – surely Costa needs to consider a loan in January? Time will tell.