Does Wolves' Rafa Silva interest suggest Helder Costa is under threat?

Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton and Bristol City at Molineux on September 12, 2017 in...

Helder Costa was Wolves' star man last season but could find himself well down the pecking order if Rafa Silva arrives from Benfica.

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...

Helder Costa was one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise underwhelming 2016/17 season for Wolverhampton Wanderers. In fact, the Portuguese winger was so impressive following his loan move from Benfica that the club jumped at the chance to make his signing permanent midway through the season, smashing their transfer record with a £13 million deal, according to the BBC.

By the end of his debut season, Costa had scored 10 goals and produced eight assists in the Championship – not to mention inspiring one of the greatest results in Wolves’ recent history with a scintillating performing in their 2-0 FA Cup win away at Liverpool.

It came as no surprise, then, when Wolves’ Player of the Year was starting to be linked with a big-money move to the Premier League. 16 games into 2017/18, however, and it appears that Costa is suffering from ‘second season syndrome’.

Claudio Bravo of Manchester City saves a shot from Helder Costa of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at...

The winger missed the beginning of the campaign through injury but, after making his long awaited return in late September, has been in and out of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. Costa has started half of his six Championship games and is yet to produce a goal or an assist.

Fourth choice?

And while Costa’s form has dipped, Atletico Madrid loanee Diogo Jota has seized his status as the club’s star man. And another Portuguese starlet, Ivan Caveleiro, has recovered from an inconsistent first season by producing five assists from nine starts.

Reports in Portuguese publication Record that Wolves could add another Iberian wideman to their ranks in Rafa Silva, then, mean Helder Costa is at risk of going from star man to fourth choice in the space of a few months.

Benfica's midfielder Rafa Silva celebrates after scoring during the Portuguese league football match SL Benfica vs CD Tondela at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on January 22, 2017.

It is understood that Benfica will sell their £14.5 million winger in January and Silva, likened to Eden Hazard, has been tipped become the latest Jorge Mendes player to make the move to Molineux.

Costa, then, has a month and a half to get back to his best.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch