Former England international striker Darren Bent has hailed Leeds United winger Helder Costa as a Premier League-worthy talent, while speaking with Football Insider.
Costa was brought to Elland Road on a season-long loan deal this summer, with the Whites obtaining an obligation to purchase the one-time Portugal international next year for a total fee believed to be in the region of £15million (Leeds Live).
Marcelo Bielsa has scarcely utilised the 25-year-old in the Championship so far following his arrival at the club though, with the Argentine head coach only awarding Costa minutes off the bench in each of his side’s five league fixtures thus far.
The versatile Benfica product – capable of playing on either side of the field or as the designated striker (TransferMarkt) – has had a hand in one goal for his new team, however, as he made the assist for Eddie Nketiah’s 81st-minute winner at home to Brentford last week.
Leeds supporters are yet to see the best Costa has to offer as he continues to adapt his game to Bielsa’s tactics, but Bent is sure that the Luanda-born talent will eventually give Bielsa a selection headache.
“He’s brilliant,” the former Sunderland forward said. “Right after they got him, I thought to myself: ‘What a signing, how have they managed to pull that off?’
“He’s so good, he probably should be playing in the Premier League, but he’s moved back to the Championship to play football. With Jack Harrison, it gives Bielsa a headache but a good headache.”
Harrison is currently putting together displays in the second-tier to warrant being selected ahead of Costa, as the Manchester City-owned winger – who Leeds have an option-to-buy next summer – is offering the fourth-most key balls per ninety minutes from Leeds players to have featured for at least 100 minutes (WhoScored).
Costa is also still adapting to how Bielsa wants him to play a part in his second attempt at securing top-flight football, having become a fringe option for Nuno Espirito Santo following Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League.
The 25-year-old was a near-constant on the field for Wolves while they were in the Championship – making 36 outings and returning five goals, six assists (TransferMarkt) – but he only tasted 1,345 minutes of Premier League football last season as he fell from the starting XI – playing just 131 minutes following the turn of the year.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Leeds United notifications!