Sky Sports pundit Darren bent has claimed Marcelo Bielsa misused Helder Costa when the winger joined Leeds United on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Costa was one of six players that arrived at Elland Road during the summer transfer window, as Bielsa and Director of Football Victor Orta put together a side they hoped would finish the job started last season and clinch promotion into the Premier League.
So far, the Portuguese’s move to West Yorkshire has only directed influenced two results in our favour, with Costa assisting Eddie Nketiah’s winner against Brentford in August and Jack Harrison’s winning strike at Reading in November.
Bielsa had firmly established Costa as a starting member of his plans by the time we travelled to the Madejski Stadium, but Bent feels the Argentine’s initial reluctance to start him caused the 26-year-old issues adapting to his new surroundings.
“I don’t think he was given the correct opportunities when he first came in, he spent a lot of time on the bench,” Bent told Football Insider.
Did Bielsa misuse Costa?
“He didn’t really get the opportunity to showcase what he is about but I think this is the time now, where the season maybe hasn’t gone to plan, he could still turn out to be a hero.
“He can still help fire Leeds to the promotion – 13 games left, he can be an important player for them. The Leeds fans will remember that, if he’s played a key part in them getting promoted, Leeds fans will never forget that.”
Costa featured as a substitute in our first eight games of the Championship season, but has since started all bar November’s 2-1 win over Luton Town and 1-0 win at Reading when he entered the action from the bench.
Despite Bent’s suggestion, Bielsa was making the right decision by not starting Costa early on as his impact from the bench often left you wanting more, having only produced three key passes in total over those first eight appearances.
Costa is hardly having a pivotal impact on our performances now that he is a starting member, either, with no key passes against Bristol City last time out when he registered a lowly 65.1% pass accuracy rating, completed four of his dribbles (57%) and misplaced all three of his crosses.
In other Leeds United news, a former Championship player has been left in awe of an ‘outstanding’ Whites talent.