According to a report from Football Insider, Leeds United have no plans to replace or upgrade defender Liam Cooper should they secure a highly-anticipated return to the top flight – but judging by some pieces of evidence, perhaps they should.
Cooper, who has 28 Championship games for the Whites under his belt this campaign (WhoScored), plying his trade for the club since signing at Elland Road back in 2014, is deemed a ‘magnificent servant‘ by ex-Leeds defender Danny Mills (Football Insider) – especially when taking into account the fact he has made 190 appearances for the club overall whilst scoring seven goals and assisting five others (Transfermarkt).
The Scotsman, who has amassed more interceptions on average this season than midfield favourite Mateusz Klich (1.9), still hasn’t featured at Premier League level during any point in his career – having only played in the lower divisions for Chesterfield, Carlisle United, Huddersfield Town, Hull City and Leeds.
Bearing that in mind, despite his years of service, it is hugely debatable whether Cooper would be an asset or a liability should he join Marcelo Bielsa’s men at the summit of English football. Even if he is the current club captain, it’s fair to say that he remains untested at that particular level.
Debatably, thanks to Bielsa’s intuition, Cooper has managed to establish himself at Elland Road after a rocky start to his Yorkshire career – becoming a ball-playing centre-half and earning international call-ups for Scotland.
However, due to Leeds’ lack of depth at centre-back, especially with Gaetano Berardi out of contract at the end of the season and Ben White nearing the end of his loan spell, it could be time for Bielsa’s side to enter the transfer market in search of fresh defensive talent instead of relying on Cooper’s influence, relegating the skipper to third choice in the position.
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