Bench strength is essential in modern-day football to meet the grind and demand of a full season and Leeds United, despite a blistering start, suffered another year of heartbreak following a playoff semifinal defeat against Derby County. The Whites, however, are expected to step up the chase for a long-awaited Premier League return, and therefore, must do the business early in order to deliver from the very first gameweek of the 2019-20 season.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Whites are eyeing an ambitious swoop for Wolverhampton Wanderers attacker Helder Costa. Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Ben White is also a transfer target as Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is keen on tying the duo down on a season-long loan.
Costa, 25, was handed a starting role initially following Wolves’ return to the top tier last year. But he eventually lost his place since December and was introduced from the bench a few times before being frozen out entirely in the culminating months.
The pacy wingman enjoyed a couple of productive years in the Championship and played a key role in his side’s top-flight promotion. Having represented Portugal in several youth ranks, Costa earned his maiden senior call-up back in October and found the net on his debut against Scotland at Hampden Park. The former Benfica sensation, being in his mid-twenties, must prefer minutes over a bit-part role and should consider a move to West Yorkshire to bolster the Whites’ frontline.
White, on the other hand, is a promising prospect who has progressed through the youth ranks of the Seagulls. The 21-year-old defender impressed on loan at Newport County during the 2017-18 season and exhibited his excellence in the League One following a winter transfer to Peterborough United for the rest of the previous campaign.
The youngster, capable of featuring both as a centre-half as well as a fullback, would add much-needed depth in the backline. The gaffer was forced to deploy the likes of Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski and Kalvin Phillips in makeshift defensive roles due to a shortage of specialists among the reserves. This, subsequently, wobbled the balance of Bielsa’s set-up, which resulted in complete chaos and catastrophe in the conclusive weeks.
Pablo Hernandez, in his mid-thirties, might find it hard to reproduce his excellence week in week out. He should be allowed to operate as an offensive playmaker and Costa, predominantly a right winger would slot in down the flank to restore the parity within the squad.