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TT Battle: Yoann Barbet vs Liam Cooper

Leeds United have had an eventful year at Elland Road, haven’t they?

After looking almost certain to secure promotion to the Premier League for the majority of the campaign, the Whites’ hopes were crushed by Derby County in the play-offs on Wednesday as a 4-2 loss to Frank Lampard’s side resulted in the club being eliminated from the competition.

Despite seeing a marked improvement by a number of his players since arriving at the club last June, Marcelo Bielsa will undoubtedly want to strengthen his squad when the transfer window opens in July and so it is hardly surprising that the Whites have been linked with a move for Yoann Barbet.

According to French news outlet L’Equipe, Leeds are reportedly interested in signing the former Brentford defender on a free transfer this summer after he was released by their second tier rivals last week.

Keeping this rumour in mind, let’s compare Barbet with one one of the Whites’ current defensive aces…

YOANN BARBET

A rock of a central defender, Yoann Barbet has proven over the course of the last four years that he is more than capable of competing in the Championship and so it came as somewhat of a shock when Brentford decided to cut ties with the Frenchman.

Undeniably one of the key reasons for why the Bees where able to secure three consecutive top ten finishes from 2016 to 2018, the 25-year-old would prove to be a coup for Leeds if they are able to convince him to make the switch to Elland Road.

However, with Bielsa’s side facing another year in the Championship, Barbet may not consider them as a viable option in terms of developing as a player and could instead opt for a move to the Premier League.

TT GRADE: B+

LIAM COOPER

Despite the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe grabbing all the headlines for Leeds this year, it could be argued that without the domineering presence of Liam Cooper at the back, Bielsa’s men may have struggled to sustain their push for promotion in the Championship

Since joining the Whites from Chesterfield in 2014, the £2.7m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) has improved immeasurably as a player yet his naive performance against Derby last night suggests that he still has more room for development.

Despite this recent set-back against the Rams, there is no reason why Cooper cannot become a modern-day Elland Road hero over the coming years whilst also achieving international recognition by earning his first cap for Scotland’s senior side.

TT GRADE: A-

TT VERDICT

Although Yoann Barbet could prove to be a solid signing for Leeds next season, he may struggle to break into the side given Bielsa’s current defensive options at Elland Road.

With Liam Cooper improving every week under the guidance of his Argentine boss and Pontus Jansson achieving a similar level of success this season, it may be wise for the Whites to use the funds available this summer to bolster their squad in other areas.

Leeds fans, should Bielsa consider making a move for Barbet in the summer? Join the discussion by commenting below.


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Article title: TT Battle: Yoann Barbet vs Liam Cooper

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