Marcelo Bielsa on his hopes for Helder Costa after first Leeds United assists

MARCELO BIELSA is full of hope for summer recruit Helder Costa after seeing the winger battle and shine in difficult circumstances at Salford City.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 10:18 am
QUALITY PREVAILS: Helder Costa in action for Leeds United against Salford City. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Marquee summer signing Costa has yet to make his first Whites league start with the Portugal international named on the bench for both of United's first two Championship fixtures away at Bristol City and at home to Nottingham Forest.

After late appearances as a second-half substitute against both the Robins and Tricky Trees, Costa was then named in Bielsa's starting line up for Tuesday night's first round Carabao Cup clash at Salford City in which the 25-year-old set up United's first two goals.

Costa's assists - a pinpoint cross for Eddie Nketiah's first goal for Leeds and a precise corner for Gaetano Berardi to volley home - came after a difficult opening period against a combative Salford side with Costa and Jack Clarke swapping sides from left to right wing respectively midway through the first half.

Costa will again be on the bench for this Saturday's Championship clash at Wigan Athletic with Bielsa naming an unchanged league side but the head coach is full of optimism as to what the high profile new recruit can bring to his side.

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"Costa was comfortable in a not very comfortable game," said Bielsa, assessing the former Benfica player's performance at Salford.

"He was combating every time, knowing that he is a player who is more creative and of more quality than this.

"Then at the same time, I saw his values, his important attributes or skills.

"He could show some of these skills in the moment to be be free in the first goal and in the cross that he did to score.

"So if the global performance was a medium level of performance, we cannot say that was high and we cannot say it was low.

"He played with experience and he created hope in us after this performance.

"At the same time when played against Nottingham Forest, he made an impact and made a difference when he came to the game."