Pundit Paddy Kenny has called on Leeds United to include Helder Costa in a swap deal for AFC Bournemouth’s Arnaut Danjuma, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.
After joining the Cherries in 2019 from Club Brugge, he was unable to make enough of an impact at the Vitality Stadium to save them from relegation, before turning it on last term and scoring 17 goals in the Championship.
The Dutchman also picked up seven assists in the process and scored both of the south-coast side’s goals in the play-off semi-finals back in May – but fell just short as they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Brentford.
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Due to this form, he has been the subject of major interest and Unai Emery’s Villarreal have already had a bid rejected for the 24-year-old. However, The Sun are reporting that the Europa League champions are still leading the race despite his links to Aston Villa and Southampton.
Earlier this summer, Danjuma publicly stated his desire to leave the Championship club and talked up Leeds United as one of his possible options, heaping praise on Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Although the Whites’ Director of Football Victor Orta is reported to be uninterested in the winger, their former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has encouraged this move and has suggested 27-year-old Helder Costa should be included in the deal.
In an interview with Football Insider, Kenny said: “I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to get it done, a swap deal with Costa.
“It would work for everyone. He’s done unbelievable at Bournemouth and he scores loads of goals for a winger.
“He could be a really great player for Leeds. He’s only in his early 20s and he’s had an excellent season last year.
“So it could be a possibility that Leeds use Costa to try and get him. It hasn’t really worked out for him since he signed.
“With Costa, you do get those players who are too good for the Championship but not quite good enough for the Premier League.”
Angolan winger Costa picked up three goals and three assists in 22 top-flight in the last campaign, first joining Leeds from Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan in 2019 before signing on permanently last summer.
Helder Costa is a high-quality player but when you look at his statistics over the years, it could be argued he isn’t too good for the second tier.
When you think of a player who’s too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League, you probably think of someone like Dwight Gayle instead.
And this might not be the best possible deal for both parties.
Although Danjuma was excellent last season, he failed to record a single goal or assist in the Premier League during the 2019/20 campaign and Leeds may benefit from seeing him perform for one more season before deciding on whether to pursue him.
Meanwhile, Costa has only had one outstanding season in England – and that came in his first season at Wolves when they were promoted back to the Premier League.
At that point, the West Midlands side had the likes of Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota to call on in the Championship – it’s remarkable when you think about it.