Benfica have completed their second major sale of the January transfer window, with the departure of Hélder Costa to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers. The dynamic winger has been on loan at Molineux since the start of the current season, and Wolves have opted to make his signing permanent by exercising their €15 million transfer option.
The 23-year old has been in superb form this campaign, smashing 9 goals and 8 assists in 29 appearances, making him the team's top goalscorer. He was instrumental in Wolves' dramatic FA Cup victory over Livepool at Anfield on Saturday, setting up both goals in the 2-1 win.
The €15 million (£13 million) transfer fee is the biggest in the history of the West Midlands club, eclipsing the £7 million spent back in August on Ivan Cavaleiro, who also began his career at Benfica. The deal is likewise believed to be the biggest in the history of the Championship, exceeding the £11 million paid by Aston Villa for Ivorian forward Jonathan Kodjia in 2016.
Cavaleiro and Costa's arrivals were made possible by the funding of Chinese investment group Fosun International. Since their takeover of the club in July 2016, they have been working closely with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, who is the representative of both players.
Costa has signed a four-and-a-half year contract that expires in summer 2021. Nonetheless, it has already been speculated that Wolves will look to sell him on to the highest bidder this summer, with several Premier League clubs rumoured to be interested. Wolves are currently 18th in the Championship, a mere 7 points above the relegation zone.
The Angolan-born youngster leaves Benfica having played just 13 minutes of first team football for the Eagles, in a late substitute's appearance against Gil Vicente in the League Cup back in January 2014. He did shine for Benfica B, however, contributing 15 goals and 19 assists in 72 matches. Loan spells at Deportivo and Monaco followed, before he joined Wolves last July. Costa has represented Portugal at every level from the under-16s to the under-21s, and has also been capped for Portugal's Olympic side.
After completing his move on Monday, the player spoke to his new club's official website:
“I am very happy to have signed this deal. I am enjoying every moment here at Wolves and now I want to get back to work and help get Wolves back up to the Premier League. The fans have been incredible both to me and to the team. We are going to do our best and keep pushing to the end of the season.”