Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has revealed his delight after Marcelo Bielsa said Liam Cooper was available to face Leicester City.
The Yorkshire club have made an excellent start to the new Premier League season, producing good performances against Liverpool and Manchester City, whilst beating Aston Villa 3-0 last time out.
The last few weeks have been trying, however for Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa, who has been forced to select a starting eleven without his key central defender.
Cooper, who has been a consistent figure for Leeds over the last 12 months, missed the game against Dean Smith’s side through injury and was replaced by right-back Luke Ayling.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference at Leeds’ Thorp Arch training ground, Bielsa revealed that the defender was set to return against Brendan Rodgers’ side on Monday evening.
What has Whelan said regarding Cooper’s return to fitness?
Touching on the return of Cooper, Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s huge. Don’t get me wrong, off the back of a fantastic victory against Aston Villa away, without our captain, it’ll be very hard to change things.
“At the same time, you’ve got to look at what he brings and what he does add to the side which is stability at the back, consistency on that left-hand side that he brings and it’s starting that partnership again.
“We’ve got to get that partnership going because it’s been too on and off with Cooper being in and out and Robin Koch has been ever-present. He needs someone who’s going to stabilise that partnership with him and that’s got to be Liam Cooper for now. “
How much of a boost will Cooper’s return have?
The central defender produced a superb 7.11 out of 10 via WhoScored.com for his performances in the Championship last term, combining his leadership and natural defending ability to provide Bielsa with a trusted security blanket at the back.
His return against Leicester City will be another massive boost for Leeds, who continue to impress.
The test against Leicester will be a great one, but anything seems possible with this Leeds team at the moment.
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