Former Scotland defender now BT Sport pundit Alan Hutton believes Helder Costa may leave Leeds United this summer, due to not adjusting to Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play.
The Lowdown: Lack of playing time
The Whites have enjoyed a superb return to the Premier League, looking like an established top-flight outfit throughout the campaign.
There have been some star players who have stood out, from Raphinha to Patrick Bamford, but Costa hasn’t been one of them.
The 27-year-old has been limited to just 13 starts in the league, scoring three times in his total of 22 appearances in the competition and often finding himself on the substitutes’ bench.
The Latest: Hutton tips Costa to leave
Someone who believes Costa may have played his last game for Leeds is Hutton, who told Football Insider that Bielsa may not see him as the right fit anymore:
“Possibly. It’s difficult for a winger to really take on board what Bielsa wants in a way.
“You know what wingers can be like, they can switch off, they don’t want to do the hard yards. He wants them to do that but also be an attacking threat. You need a certain player to be able to do that.
“It’s not easy to run like that for 90 minutes. Maybe he just doesn’t suit that style of football. I think that’s maybe what it comes down to. He is a good player but Bielsa asks a lot from his players, defensively and offensively.
“Maybe that’s where it’s just not quite worked out. He’s picked up some injuries, probably due to the intensity of it.
“I think he’s a good squad player but I don’t think he’s going to be that guy who is going to play week in, week out. It’s really going to come down to him whether he fancies that or he wants a move somewhere else to play more regularly.”
The Verdict: Time for a fresh challenge
Costa is a talented winger, possessing quick feet and trickery, but it does feel like the right time for him to move on.
The brutal truth is that Raphinha and Jack Harrison both represent better options for Bielsa, working harder and registering 13 goals involvements apiece between them in the league this season.
Leeds should be able to receive a decent fee for Costa, considering he is 27 and his current deal doesn’t expire until 2024, so it makes sense to move him on and look for an upgrade this summer.
In other news, Leeds have been linked with another winger ahead of the summer transfer window. Find out who it is here.
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