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.
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.
Late I know but thoughts on the game today... Passed the ball well enough.. Costa looks like a new player and will light up the premier league... Looked ok at the back... All in all not a bad way to kick off... #wwfc— Andy Powell /\_/\ (@apwwfc) July 10, 2018
Decent win/workout for the boys and the young guns, what's happened to Costa then??? #wwfc— Danny Powers (@Danny_Powers) July 10, 2018
Big things from Costa this season!— dainty (@dainty78) July 10, 2018
Blimey, Costa looks stacked!!— Tristan (@Tristan_Cymru) July 10, 2018