Marcelo Bielsa may have dropped some rather positive news ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Swansea City at the weekend, without even mentioning it.
When asked about his current injury concerns ahead of the mouth-watering top-of-the-table Championship clash on Saturday, the Argentine revealed everyone was available except for Tyler Roberts and Luke Ayling after further clarification.
As quoted by Leeds Live, he said: “All the players are going to be available,” before adding: “Not Ayling or Roberts.”
So, it would seem Liam Cooper will be available after missing the previous two encounters with Stoke City in the League and Cup competitions over the past few days with an ankle injury (per Yorkshire Evening Post).
Although Leeds appear to have managed to get by without him in the Championship clash last weekend pretty comfortably, it will be a positive boost to have Cooper available to them for the upcoming tie with Swansea.
The skipper, who recently earned a call-up to Scotland’s national squad for the imminent international break, has been in top form for his club over the last four matches and has been an incredibly key member of Bielsa’s side.
According to data collected by WhoScored, he has an average of one tackle, one interception and 4.8 clearances per 90 minutes in his four appearances and seems to have built a formidable partnership with Ben White in the early stages of the season.
Having arrived from Brighton and Hove Albion on a temporary deal, the loanee has managed an astounding 2.6 tackles, 3.4 interceptions and 3.6 clearances in his five Championship appearances.
Together, the pair have only conceded two goals in the division so far and reuniting the duo together in the middle of the defence could keep a free-flowing Swansea side at bay when they visit Elland Road on Saturday.
There is no doubt that there are suitable cover options available, with Gaetano Berardi and Leif Davis perhaps options that could be called upon by Bielsa. However, Cooper’s stats only go to show how important he has been so far this season.
Despite being in the infancy of the Championship season still, the visit of Swansea will, arguably, be Leeds’ toughest test so far and having their skipper back in the squad for the game should come as a huge boost in their chances of maintaining an unbeaten start.
Leeds fans, how crucial is it that Cooper plays against Swansea on Saturday? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!
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