Danny Mills has called on Leeds United winger Helder Costa to “fight” to win back his place in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Whites and England defender delivered his verdict after the 26-year-old was omitted from Bielsa’s matchday squad against Newcastle United.
Costa has not started a game for the Yorkshire giants since he was dragged off at half-time in Leeds’ 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace at the beginning of October.
The visit to Newcastle was the first time the Portugal international has not made a Leeds Premier League matchday squad this season after he was replaced with defender Leif Davis.
Bielsa confirmed after the 5-2 thrashing of the Magpies that Costa was not omitted because he was injured.
Asked by Football Insider whether he was worried about what that meant for Costa’s future at Elland Road, Mills said: “No, not particularly, you’ve just got to fight for your place.
“This is what you want as a manager and as a coach. You go ‘OK, I can only pick eleven and I’ve got a squad of 18, you have got to fight to get in’.
“You’ve got to make sure you get it right and fight for it. If you don’t fight for it you won’t be considered, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s not difficult, there are 11 places, those that play the best and fight the hardest will get given those shirts.”
Costa moved to Leeds on an initial season-long loan deal from Wolves at the beginning of last season.
The deal became permanent on 10 July for a £16million fee with Leeds securing their return to the Premier League 10 days later.