By Wayne Veysey
Marcelo Bielsa is ready to unleash Leeds United’s rarely-seen winger Helder Costa on Championship defences after the international break, Football Insider understands.
The 25-year-old has not started a league match since he became the Yorkshire giants’ headline summer signing in a loan-to-buy deal worth £15million.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Bielsa is convinced that Costa’s pace, directness and trickery can offer a new dimension to a side that has occasionally struggled to break down heavily-manned defences.
The manager believes the one-time Portugal international can help solve his tactical riddle of how to penetrate teams defending deep in numbers, particularly at Thorp Arch.
Costa was held back initially by Bielsa because he felt the forward’s fitness and conditioning was not quite at the same level of the Leeds players who returned to pre-season training at the end of June.
The signing from Wolves arrived at Elland Road in the first week of July but he missed the tour of Australia as he remained at Thorp Arch to work on his fitness.
The team started the season so well, taking 13 points from their first five league fixtures, that Bielsa has stuck by the regular starters, made up predominantly of those who went to Australia.
But he is preparing to make adjustments to his side in the coming weeks as he plots Leeds’ bid to win automatic promotion following last season’s narrow miss.
Costa has appeared as a substitute in all six of Leeds’ league games, usually as a replacement for Mateusz Klich, with his only starts coming in the League Cup.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club knocked back attacker offer from Champions League giants during summer window.