Marcelo Bielsa runs rule over 'adaptation process' of Leeds United's Helder Costa

HEAD COACH Marcelo Bielsa is anticipating improvement from marquee summer signing Helder Costa as the Portuguese international adapts to his required Leeds United roles.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 1:47 pm
WORK IN PROGRESS: Helder Costa. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Wolves recruit Costa began his first eight Championship assignments for Leeds on the bench but the 25-year-old has now started United’s last six league games following two injuries to Pablo Hernandez.

United’s Spanish playmaker Hernandez injured his calf in the 1-1 draw at home to Derby County last month and the 34-year-old then picked up a fresh hamstring problem as he prepared to make his comeback in this month’s home clash against Birmingham City.

Hernandez is now nearing a return but without him Costa has been handed six consecutive starts with the 25-year-old switching positions in Saturday’s goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday with Bielsa tasking the summer signing with playing both out wide and then in a more central role. Both positions are regularly filled by Hernandez.

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The deal to bring Costa to Elland Road is costing around £15m and the summer recruit is still seeking his first league goal but Bielsa says it is natural that Costa’s development at Leeds will take time.

“Helder is still in an adaptation process,” said Biesla.

“Teams and players need habits you can get from playing.”

Reflecting on Costa’s roles in Saturday’s draw at Sheffield Wednesday and the differences between the Portuguese international and Hernandez, Bielsa said: “Helder had two kinds of situations: when he was outside close to the line, especially on the right, and when he went to the middle behind number nine.

“Pablo also feels this characteristic. He can communicate passes in the right and we can add with Helder more one against one dribble.

“The central position in the middle, that is one need in our team, Pablo finds this kind of ball more naturally.”

Third-placed Leeds are back in Championship action this coming Saturday at home to eighth-placed Queens Park Rangers and Hernandez said before last weekend’s clash at Sheffield Wednesday that he hoped to return in “the next week or next two weeks.”