Leeds United made a bold decision in 2019, signing Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Helder Costa on loan with an obligation to sign him permanently.

Taking him for a Championship promotion push had its merits; Costa was impressive in the Championship for Wolves, registering 15 goals and 14 assists in 71 appearances.

Costa registered four goals and four assists for Leeds last season, helping them win promotion – and the Whites paid the £16million to sign him permanently.

Predicting England’s 2026 World Cup Squad & Starting XI

Predicting England’s 2026 World Cup Squad & Starting XI

Agreeing to such a deal was a risk. Costa managed just one goal and two assists in 25 Premier League outings for Wolves before offloading him to Leeds.

Right now, Costa looks to be suffering similar issues in the top flight. He’s not really affecting games for Leeds, and hasn’t registered a single created chance in league action since November 2nd.

Against Crawley Town on Sunday, the Portuguese wide man as completely ineffectual against League Two opposition, and was fortunate to stay on when Ian Carlo Poveda was substituted.

Where next for Costa? Leeds have sunk big money into the 27-year-old, but just months after that £16million outlay, he’s already looking like being on the fringes of the side.

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Jack Harrison and Raphinha are the first-choice wingers right now, and if one was to miss out at the moment, you could make a case for Poveda or Ezgjan Alioski being picked ahead of Costa.

Sunday’s performance just wasn’t good enough from Costa, and whilst a number of players failed to show up against Crawley, his was one of the most concerning displays.

This was a chance for him to stake a claim for a first-team starting role again, and he squandered it. With other options out wide, he can’t afford to keep wasting these chances, or his Leeds career will ultimately slip away.

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