Get rid: Leeds must offload horrific “bystander” who has cost Radrizzani £3m per goal – opinion

Get rid: Leeds must offload horrific “bystander” who has cost Radrizzani £3m per goal – opinion

When certain players make the jump from Championship football to the Premier League they suddenly become a liability.

There are some prime examples throughout the years, players who seemingly make a better career for themselves in the second tier.

You only need to look at Anthony Knockaert and Matej Vydra. The former has contributed to 72 goals in the Championship compared to just 12 in the Premier League. Vydra, meanwhile, has 87 goal involvements in the second tier. His record in the top-flight is just 12 as well.

This is similar for Helder Costa, a dynamic winger capable of ingenious moments. Those are all too infrequent, however.

The Portuguese is one of a number of players who haven’t managed to elevate their qualities on the big stage and is strikingly similar to Knockaert.

In the Championship for Wolves, he is a ball of energy and has provided 39 goal contributions at that level. In the Premier League, though, he’s scored twice and contributed four assists.

Costa is a man who has had a troublesome few years and it begs the question, why did Leeds spend £15m on him?

Considering his second-tier record, landing him on loan last season was certainly not a bad idea. However, he never really reached the dizzy heights he did in the Midlands, netting only five times in all competitions at Elland Road.

It was form that saw him mercilessly slated. Former Whites man Noel Whelan said: “Costa has much more to give. He has been a bystander at times. He needs to be far more involved and much more effective in his defensive play.”

The trouble is, Costa hasn’t given much more to this Leeds side.

His start to the 2020/21 campaign was actually fairly impressive. He assisted a goal against Liverpool on the opening weekend and then bagged twice versus Fulham just a week later. Since then, though, he has provided the one assist.

Clearly, Costa is being found out again. The 26-year-old hasn’t played since the defeat against West Ham and rumours are starting to circulate over his future. Kevin Phillips commented this week: “It is a big statement that he has not featured in the last two games. It suggests to me that come January, if there is an offer, Bielsa may look at it.”

Of course, it would be a drastic measure to sell so soon, but there are certainly reasons to agree with Phillips here.

The fact of the matter is that Leeds’ investment in Costa has been nothing short of a financial disaster. Once the season comes to an end, he will have cost Andrea Radrizzani in the region of £18m if you consider his yearly salary of £1.69m.

That means that if you divide the number of Leeds goals he has – six – by his overall value, he has set them back £3m per goal.

It’s evident why they could do with offloading Costa. He is bleeding the club dry.

AND in other news, Bielsa must UNLEASH “terrifying” Leeds prodigy who is “reminiscent of Gareth Bale”…

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