Leeds United

Leeds United have been “up and down” all season and criticism of Helder Costa is way off the mark.

That is according to ex-Premier League goalscorer Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Costa put in a flatlining performance in the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last Saturday.

The Portuguese winger finished the match with just 61 per cent passing accuracy before he was substituted in the 64th minute (Wyscout).

Costa had been enjoying a good run of form in Leeds’ last three matches, getting on the scoresheet against Arsenal and providing an assist against Southampton.

Campbell defended Costa from post-match criticism and went against the almost universally positive appraisals of United this term.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “We’ve seen him start and we’ve seen them win when he’s started. So I don’t necessarily think he’s better as an impact sub.

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“Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. It’s a game of football. Sometimes the form isn’t there or the service isn’t there.

“I don’t think it’s a big issue. He’s a player that Bielsa is going to rotate when he sees fit. It’s just one of those things that he isn’t always going to be great.

“Leeds have been up and down. They haven’t been great all season. It isn’t just him.”

Costa, 27, spent last season on loan with Leeds ahead of a pre-planned permanent move from Wolves.

He has played 64 times for the club, scoring seven goals and registering 11 assists.

In other news, a former Leeds United player has tipped goalkeeper Illan Meslier to sign a new four-year contract.