Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has hinted that Liam Cooper could return to face Leicester City on Monday night.
The Yorkshire club have been excellent after returning to England’s top flight after a 16-year hiatus and were impressive 3-0 winners over Aston Villa last time out.
However, Bielsa has been forced to deal with a number of selection headaches as the likes of Cooper, Diego Llorente and defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips were ruled out through injury.
Cooper, who has been a consistent figure for Leeds over the last 12 months, was replaced by right-back Luke Ayling for the game against Villa but it now seems like the centre-back will return soon.
What has Bielsa said about Monday’s game and the potential return of Cooper?
Speaking in a press conference from the Whites’ Thorp Arch training ground, as quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa gave a short and sweet four-word update on Cooper.
“Cooper is fine now,” the former Athletic Bilbao coach said briefly, before going on to give an update on both Llorente and Phillips.
“Both Llorente and Phillips are subject to the evolution of the injury.”
Youngster Jamie Shackleton was the chosen replacement for Phillips against Villa but Bielsa refused to hint whether or not he would remain in the holding midfield position against Leicester.
“I have yet to pick the XI for this weekend.”
How important is Cooper’s return for Leeds?
Cooper was and continues to be a massive part of Leeds’ resurgence back to the forefront of English football.
The central defender produced a superb 7.11 out of 10 via WhoScored.com for his performances in the Championship last term and he has continued in the same sort of form this term, while also providing valuable leadership skills.
His presence in the back four alongside the emerging Robin Koch will be a massive boost for Leeds against Brendan Rodgers’ side on Monday evening.
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