Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan believes Liam Cooper and Rodrigo’s international exploits will act as a ‘massive boost’ for the Whites.
The Lowdown: Positive times for Cooper and Rodrigo
The Leeds pair have enjoyed a productive international break, as qualification for the 2022 World Cup reaches its conclusion.
Cooper played every minute of Scotland’s 2-0 wins against Moldova and Denmark, even registering an assist against the latter on Monday night while the result against the former locked the Tartan Army into a guranteed play-off spot.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo helped Spain qualify for the World Cup next year, playing half an hour of his country’s 1-0 win over Sweden at the weekend. The former Valencia man actually has a very good record for his country, scoring 32 times at the various levels of youth and senior football for Spain.
The Latest: Whelan hails big positive
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan claimed that the duo could take this positivity with them to Leeds when Marcelo Bielsa and his players reconvene:
“It will be absolutely huge. Any positive result will be a massive boost, especially when you play the role Cooper did in Scotland’s success.
“I watched the game and thought he was brilliant at the back. He really stepped up after time out of the side and helped them to a massive win.
“It will only give the players confidence and that extra boost in morale coming into the domestic side as well. The same goes for Rodrigo, he’s forcing his way back into that Spain side.
“Off the back of such a high these players will head back into their games with Leeds in a really positive mindset. That could be important.”
The Verdict: Time for build on recent form
Cooper and Rodrigo have made 21 Premier League starts between them this season, proving to be almost ever-presents, so they must shoulder some blame for the Whites’ struggles.
The hope is that their international form is replicated at club level – in fairness, there have been signs of it in recent weeks, with Leeds unbeaten in their last three league outings.
Sunday’s trip to Tottenham is a tough game, but if the Whites could return home having avoided defeat it would feel like another positive step in the right direction after a tricky start.
In other news, a journalist has made a big claim regarding Leeds’ January transfer business. Read more here.
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