Hélder Costa's time at Leeds United so far

We take a look at the winger’s progress since joining the Whites two years ago.
Hélder Costa. Pic: GettyHélder Costa. Pic: Getty
Hélder Costa. Pic: Getty

Hélder Costa has departed Leeds United for Valencia on a season-long loan.

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In July 2019, Costa arrived at Leeds on a loan-to-buy deal from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, following a successful season at Molineux helping his team achieve Europa League qualification.

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The winger made his debut off the bench in the opening game of the Whites’ Championship-winning season, coming on for Mateusz Klich for fifteen minutes as Leeds saw out a 3-1 home victory over Bristol City.

Costa then impressed on his first start for the team, assisting two goals in Leeds’ 3-0 defeat of Salford City in the first round of the EFL Cup.

An injury to Pablo Hernandez gave Costa a way into the team, and he earned his first league start in a dismal 1-0 loss at Charlton.

Costa held onto his starting place for most of the rest of the campaign, scoring four and assisting five in the Whites’ title-winning season.

Costa made his Leeds debut at Ashton Gate. Pic: GettyCosta made his Leeds debut at Ashton Gate. Pic: Getty
Costa made his Leeds debut at Ashton Gate. Pic: Getty
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But while his teammates stepped up to the challenge of Premier League opposition, Costa failed to find his feet in the new division, despite boasting 25 top flight appearances for Wolves, and the Portuguese midfielder has been pushed to the periphery since the arrival of hotshot Brazilian winger Raphinha in October 2020.

Costa started the 2020-21 season well, providing a sublime assist to Mateusz Klich on the opening day goalfest at Anfield, then netting a brace in the Whites’ first Premier League victory against Fulham.

Six performances later, Costa lost his place in the starting XI shortly after a flukey own goal seemed to confirm Costa's suitability for the bench, as the midfielder's attempt to block a van Aanholt cross only diverted the ball into his own net.

What remained of Costa’s season was a smattering of substitute appearances and just a trio of starts which resulted from Jack Harrison’s ineligibility to face his parent club Manchester City.

Costa arrived at Leeds with Premier League experience from his time at Wolves. Pic: GettyCosta arrived at Leeds with Premier League experience from his time at Wolves. Pic: Getty
Costa arrived at Leeds with Premier League experience from his time at Wolves. Pic: Getty
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The 27-year-old put in a good shift against the Sky Blues, and was instrumental in both Stuart Dallas’ goals in the unlikely victory, but it wasn’t enough to cement a permanent place in Marcelo Bielsa thoughts as Costa was left out of the squad altogether for the closing games of the season.

During the Whites’ pre-season preparations, Costa notably failed to get on top of Ajax’s youth side, which was seen by fans as a mark of unreadiness to represent Leeds in the first team.

Without an abundance of first-team wingers, it looked unlikely that Leeds United would move Costa on, but following the arrival of Dan James from Manchester United and emergence of academy prospect Crysencio Summerville, Costa has been pushed further down the pecking order.

This season he'll compete at for a place at Valencia, who sit unbeaten in third place of La Liga.

Costa in action at Anfield. Pic: GettyCosta in action at Anfield. Pic: Getty
Costa in action at Anfield. Pic: Getty
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