'Blimey': Some Wolves fans have noticed a big change in Helder Costa

Helder Costa of Wolverhampton Wanderers in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Molineux on April 28, 2018 in...

Helder Costa has clearly had a busy pre-season as Wolverhampton Wanderers prepare for the new Premier League campaign.

Helder Costa of Wolverhampton Wanderers in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Molineux on April 28, 2018 in...

Even the most faithful Molineux match-goer might have had to do a double-take when watching Helder Costa storm down the wing in the pre-season clash against Basel on Tuesday.

The spindly, quicksilver winger of last season looks like a man transformed. Whatever he has done between the end of last season and now, it has certainly made quite the difference. Costa is almost unrecognisable: stronger, bulkier and absolutely fearsome to opposition full-backs.

The former Benfica youngster, who moved to Wolves for a club record £13 million during the 2016/17 season, was influential in the second half as the Premier League newcomers sealed a 2-1 win against Basel during the pre-season tour of Switzerland.

Wander Helder Costa of Wolves (L) attempts to take it past Pedro of Chelsea (R) during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on...

The former Valencia wonder-kid Rafa Mir reminded fans what he is all about when opening the scoring with a neat finish, while Diogo Jota sealed a morale-boosting win by capping an excellent team goal, but most of Wolves’ play came through Costa in his 45-minute second-half showing.

His end product was a little lacking but there is no doubting that the 24-year-old looks sharp and raring to go ahead of Wolves’ first top flight season in six years.

It is a big season for Costa, who made 15 of his 36 Championship appearances off the bench in 2017/18. But, if his new fitness regime is anything to go by, he is clearly a man on a mission.

Helder Costa of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores a penalty during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United at Molineux on November 22, 2017 in...

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