Kevin Phillips has been disappointed and frustrated with Helder Costa’s performances for Leeds United this season.
The former Sunderland and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said the 26-year-old possesses “real talent” but he has gone backwards when faced with competition for his place.
Costa was an unused substitute in yesterday’s 6-2 humiliating loss at Manchester United, having been dropped from the matchday squad that beat Newcastle United in midweek.
The summer signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha has seen the Portugal international fall down the pecking order at Elland Road.
Phillips admitted that he had high hopes for the left-footer when he signed for Leeds.
“I think he has struggled in the Premier League,” he told Football Insider.
“I’ve been disappointed with the way Helder Costa has performed at Leeds.
“He was given a fresh start when he left Wolves and it was one that I thought he would take. I thought he had an exciting future but he has taken a backward step really.
“The competition in front of him has got better and some players cannot stand up to that.
“Whenever I watch Helder Costa he frustrates me because I know there is a real talent in there but we do not see it enough.”
The Whites confirmed the permanent signing of Costa from Wolves in the summer for a fee of £16million.
His 56 appearances for the club have yielded six goals and 10 assists.