Leeds may turn to Costa as Raphinha replacement

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 2 min read
Leeds may turn to Costa as Raphinha replacement

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds may turn to Douglas Costa as a replacement for Raphinha, if the club are forced to sell the player to Liverpool in the summer.

Raphinha, who only joined Leeds from Rennes last summer, has attracted many suitors since his move to England, and Liverpool are rumoured to be heavily interested in the Brazilian.

With four goals and four assists in just 14 Premier League starts, it’s no great surprise that Raphinha could be on his way out of Leeds just 12 months after joining.

This would be a hammer blow for the side, but Bielsa is reportedly keeping an eye on Douglas Costa as a potential replacement.

Costa, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Juventus, has hardly featured this season, making just three Bundesliga starts all year for the Bavarians.

He is firmly behind the likes of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala in the Bayern pecking order, and although he’s registered one goal and one assist in limited league minutes, Bayern are highly unlikely to make the deal for the 30-year-old permanent.

With his contract expiring at Juventus in 2022, and the Brazilian clearly out-of-favour there, it’s likely he’ll leave in the summer.

Elland Road could well be the destination for Costa, and with Raphinha’s departure from the club seeming a question of when rather than if, he should slot in perfectly to Bielsa’s all-action style.

Looking at his stats from the 2019/20 campaign, where Costa racked up 1115 minutes across all competitions for Juventus, he scored five and assisted six, and his underlying numbers were fairly impressive.

His greatest strength is his dribbling ability, and in fact, in 19/20 he completed an average of 4.5 dribbles per 90, a tally that would rank first in Leeds’ current squad, a whole 1.9 more per 90 than Leeds’ most productive dribbler this campaign, Ian Poveda.

However, Costa is now 30, and whilst he would most likely be an adequate replacement for Raphinha, Leeds would still sorely miss their influential winger.