Liam Cooper has shown this season that he really can be the star man that the Whites need at the back alongside Pontus Jansson. Over the summer, plenty of Leeds fans fumed when Kyle Bartley moved to West Brom as they believed they needed him over Cooper. Instead, the club captain has stepped up as one of Marcelo Bielsa’s star men and his recent injury is gutting for the fans.
A piece on the loss to injury of Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, a quiet influence on the pitch and a big presence off it:https://t.co/uQMYxfiHNA
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 5, 2018
This season so far has seen a number of Bielsa’s players step up and reach levels that the fans would have deemed impossible last season. The likes of Kemar Roofe, Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips have all taken their game up a gear Cooper is well and truly in that category. However, the fans now face a difficult festive period without the 27-year-old defensive rock.
It’s still up in the air over who will be drafted in to replace the 27-year-old. The fact that Jansson is returning is brilliant news, so it will likely be Kalvin Phillips dropped into the back four where Cooper usually plays, opening a deeper midfield role up for Adam Forshaw and inviting Samu Saiz back into the starting eleven. However, if Bielsa wants a simpler fix, he can just swap Cooper straight out for Aapo Halme, the young defender who impressed against Sheffield United.
You can see what the Whites have made of Cooper’s absence here:
A good all round bloke. Works very hard and hasn’t gone into his shell when needed. He gets us as well. It’s great seeing family men at the club. Future is bright.
— David (@davidlukemillie) December 5, 2018
If it wasn’t for Phillips massive improvement cooper would have a case for our most important player thus far into the season phil.
— Martin Charlesworth (@mcharlesworth10) December 5, 2018
Been better than Pontus this season IMO
— James Sewell (@wall1966) December 5, 2018
What a top bloke Cooper is. Come on leaps and bounds this season aswell
— James Hollingworth (@JimmyHol84) 5 December 2018
Whilst he can sometimes split opinion his attitude on and off the pitch is outstanding. He seems a thoroughly decent bloke and a true professional. Would love to see him get us promoted. ALAW MOT
— dazrebo (@dazrebo) December 5, 2018
Phillips to centre half. Forshaw defensive mid. Saiz back in to the midfield. Sorted
— jack wall (@JackWlufc) December 5, 2018
Another average player Bielsa has coached to be a top end championship player in less than 6 months get back soon coops
— GARETH SMITH (@bigbadg123) December 5, 2018
The Whites will be desperate to get Cooper back soon, but will also have faith in Bielsa getting his squad through the Christmas period without him.