This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Football Insider, Danny Mills has made the bold claim that one of Liam Cooper or Pontus Jansson could potentially be dropped ahead of the start of the season following the signing of Ben White.
Although the quotes could be taken negatively as it alludes to Leeds leaving a key player out, there are still plenty of positives to be found.
The former England international claimed that one of Leeds’ centre-backs could be in jeopardy of losing their spot.
“There will be real competition for places now,” he said. “You could see Jansson and White starting together in central defence, or White and Cooper,” Mills told Football Insider,
“You need that competition. If there’s no competition for places, even the best can get complacent. We saw last season that Leeds were short in that position, and Kalvin Phillips had to drop back for a few months when Cooper was injured.
“Cooper is a good, steady player. He had some very good performances last season and the odd mistake here and there. He has improved a lot since he joined Leeds, but you have to keep improving every season. If you stand still, you go backwards.
“He could easily start the season on the sidelines, especially if he’s not performing to the level Bielsa wants in training.”
Jansson and Cooper both arguably had the best seasons of their career last campaign as they earnt spots in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, but with more competition for their spot this term they may be forced to up their game even further.
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Mills clearly rates White, and if he begins to play well in training, the current centre-half pairing will have to step things up in order to stay in the team.
In signing the Brighton youngster on loan, Marcelo Bielsa hasn’t only added depth to his squad, but he has also created some friendly competition that could see his current stars improve.