Old Gold’s £16 million sale to Wolves is now a “massive” flop in the Championship.

Wolves had some successful sales this summer, but one in particular stands out as a smart investment in recent years. This summer, Wolverhampton Wanderers made some significant roster changes as the Old Gold tried to recover from their financial difficulties.

As Gary O’Neil took over as manager just four days before their Premier League opening, and as the team adjusted to their new look, it was anticipated that things would be difficult to start.

Regular team members Ruben Neves, Nathan Collins, and Matheus Nunes among others left Molineux this summer, although their contracts brought in large sums of money for the team.

Wolves’ business hasn’t always been smooth, but Neves and Nunes’ combined sales brought in £100 million (£47 million and £53 million, respectively), making them two of their most successful transactions ever.

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One name stands out as a particularly successful exit from the Midlands side when reviewing some of the most expensive deals over the years: Helder Costa.

What price did Wolves get for selling Helder Costa?
Helder Costa, a winger who cost Wolves £16 million in 2020, was sold to Leeds United for a profit, which was smart given how the player performed after leaving Wolves.

When the team was still in the Championship in 2017, Costa moved to Molineux after impressing during a first loan period to earn a £13 million transfer from Benfica, a sum that was a club record at the time.

Prior to his permanent move to Leeds, the Angolan whiz also impressed during a season-long loan at Elland Road before moving, showing a level of performance that was fraudulent to the ability he showed after securing a four-year contract.

What happened to Helder Costa?
For Wolves, Costa’s talents shone bright in the Championship, where in 71 appearances he contributed to 29 goals, scoring 15 and assisting 14 over the two seasons in the second tier.

The stalling point for the former Benfica ace was translating his form to the Premier League, where in the 2018/19 season, he scored just one goal in 25 appearances, subsequently paving the way to his loan back in the Championship.

At Leeds, a similar pattern of form repeated itself, where he had a hand in ten goals in the second division during the White’s journey to promotion, and scored just three times in the Premier League the campaign after.

During his time in the top-flight with Leeds, the winger was blasted by the club’s former striker Noel Whelan, dubbing him a “massive flop” and a “negative” player to have in attack, via Football Insider.

His poor form at the top level in England warranted a further two loan spells away from Elland Road, where he has not featured since, with both seasons proving to be ineffective.

The Angolan spent the season in Spain with Valencia in 2021–2022, appearing in 22 La Liga games without recording a goal. The next year, he was on another loan in the Saudi Pro League, where he scored three goals in 18 appearances for Al-Ittihad.

With his next professional move being uncertain given his recent abysmal play, Costa will have a long journey back to England.

However, one party will be happy since Wolves made money on the winger’s transfer and got rid of him just as he was demonstrating his incapability to handle the pressures of playing at the highest level of football.



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