There have been five players who have featured in every single Championship game for Leeds United this season – with Helder Costa the only one who has had to force his way into the side as the campaign has gone on.
Helder Costa’s arrival at Elland Road saw Leeds make a massive statement.
He technically remains a loan signing for the Whites. But the club committed last year to making his move permanent this summer, with the Daily Mirror reporting that he will cost £15 million.
Costa had previously been outstanding in the Championship with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And with Leeds committing to parting with a large sum, it is little surprise that former Whites defender Ben Parker made a massive claim shortly after his arrival.
“I think it’s the signing of the season in the Championship,” he told the club’s official YouTube channel. “The word going around last season was we were creating chances, always creating chances, but can we find that someone that can put the ball into the back of the net regularly or just keep adding to the threat going forward.”
In truth, it did appear for some time like Costa would struggle to live up to that tag. He did not score and had only provided one league assist before Leeds faced Middlesbrough in late November.
But since thumping home Leeds’s third goal that day, Costa appears to have turned a corner.
There is still some frustration from time to time concerning his end product. The Portuguese remains susceptible to seemingly holding onto the ball for too long.
But there is no question that he has looked a lot more like a player capable of being deemed the Championship’s signing of the season in recent months.
Along with Jack Harrison, Leeds have been absolutely lethal out wide. And Costa has caused all sorts of headaches for opposition full-backs along the way.
He has stepped his game up as the season has gone on. And he looks ready to play a key role as Leeds look to get themselves across the line in the promotion race.
He may not end up winning Leeds’s player of the season award this term. But Costa may not be too far away from living up to Parker’s billing.