Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills has downplayed the potential absences of Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente for Monday night’s game against Wolves.
The Elland Road outfit have started the season in promising fashion, bouncing back after an opening day defeat to Liverpool with a three-game unbeaten run which was maintained before the international break with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City.
With the international break now over, Leeds now face Wolves on Monday night, but Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa faces a defensive headache after learning of injury problems to both Cooper and Llorente.
Cooper and Llorente unlikely to face Wolves
Llorente, who arrived from Real Sociedad this summer, is a certainty to the miss the game against Wolves, with an official statement on the Spanish national team’s website declaring that the 27-year-old suffered a muscle injury over the international duty.
With the Spaniard unavailable for the game against Wolves, Bielsa has now been handed a further blow, as outlined by journalist Phil Hay , with Cooper facing a late fitness test ahead of the match.
Bielsa’s been speaking this afternoon, ahead of Wolves on Monday. Injury news:
– Hernandez fit to play
– Raphinha should be involved for the first time
– Llorente is out
– Cooper’s a doubt.
Everyone else returned from international duty unscathed. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) October 16, 2020
However, the potential absence of the defensive duo has prompted Mills to tell Bielsa to just ‘deal with it’, in an interview with Football Insider.
“That’s always going to be a little bit of a worry,” the former Leeds defender said. “You have to deal with it. It’s where you are hopefully it’ll only be for a game or two.
“But it is what it is. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it right now.
“This is the problem that everyone is having to deal with with the transfer window came just before the international break and you’ve got new players coming in who haven’t been around, you’ve got players jetting off all over the world picking up covid, picking up injuries.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time for that to settle down.
“It’s basically all hands to the pump for every single team and deal with what you’ve got.”
Who could feature if Cooper and Llorente miss out?
Robin Koch is expected to play at centre-back for Leeds, whilst Pascal Struijk could feature in what would be only his second appearance of the season after being promoted from the under-23 squad.
The absence of Llorente is a big one, especially given that he is expected to make an impact at Leeds after signing a five-year deal with the club this summer; while Cooper has been a solid performer, with a WhoScored average rating of 7.17 out of 10 so far this term as he faces a race against time to be fit for Monday night.
Do you think Leeds will sorely miss Cooper and Llorente on Monday? Let us know your views in the comments section below…
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