Date: 23rd June 2019 at 1:00pm
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Speculation is rife that Aston Villa are in pole position to sign Wolves’ Portuguese international Helder Costa. The winger struggled to cement his place in the Wolves side last season, having been one of their star performers as they cruised to the Championship title and promotion the previous year.

Costa featured in 25 games for Wolves in their first season back in the Premier League but struggled for consistency and to recapture his Championship form following Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to switch from a 3-4-3 formation to a 3-5-2.

With Wolves looking to strengthen ahead of a tough Premier League/Europa League campaign (they’ll be playing the killer Thursday/Sunday schedule for much of the coming season), Costa has been heavily linked with a move elsewhere to guarantee first-team football.

He’s young – 25 – and would seem to fit nicely into Villa’s style of play as a pacey, direct wide player who would clearly be a step up from the outgoing Albert Adomah and the inconsistent André Green.

Any potential transfer fee would not break the bank – Wolves would be looking to recoup the £13m they spent on making his loan deal from Monaco permanent in January 2017. But a spanner in the works might be the attention of Leeds United who, despite failing to secure the promotion which looked odds-on for so long last season, remain strongly linked with the Benfica academy graduate.

Leeds are looking to take Costa on loan for the forthcoming season as Marcelo Bielsa looks to make a more successful attempt to restore the Whites to the Premier League after an absence of 12 years.

Villa’s Premier League status (not to mention our geographical closeness to Wolverhampton) may swing things in our favour if we really are interested in signing Costa, but Villa and Leeds are neck-and-neck as far as the bookies are concerned.

Thoughts, Villa fans? I’d be excited to see him at Villa Park and he would fit in to the profile of young, talented players who will improve the squad. And at 25, he would have good resale value should things not work out as intended. Dean Smith has a record of improving players and there’s no reason to suggest Costa couldn’t recapture his form of a couple of seasons ago.

It’s very much a ‘Yes!’ from me. UTV.

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