Darren Bent has claimed that Leeds United winger Helder Costa should be playing Premier League football after dropping back into the Championship this season.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that he was staggered when the Whites announced the capture of the Portuguese international from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a loan-to-buy basis over the summer.

He was a key part of the squad who helped Wolves secure promotion back to the top flight two seasons ago, but struggled to make the desired impact among England’s elite.

However, Bent insists that the 25-year-old should be plying his trade at a higher level than England’s second tier, suggesting that regular playing time at another promotion-chasing club was what turned his head.

Asked if he thought Costa was too good for the Championship, Bent said: “Yeah, he is, he’s brilliant. Right after they got him, I thought to myself: ‘What a signing, how have they managed to pull that off?

“He’s so good, he probably should be playing in the Premier League, but he’s moved back to the Championship to play football. With Jack Harrison, it gives Bielsa a headache but a good headache.”

Costa is yet to start a Championship game for the Whites, coming off the bench in all five of their league games so far, including the 3-0 win over Stoke City.

His only appearance in the starting XI under Marcelo Bielsa came in the League Cup victory over Salford City, in which he set up Eddie Nketiah for a goal on his debut.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal that one senior player has been completely frozen out at Thorp Arch.