Many may have been sceptical and not convinced if Liam Cooper would be good enough to play every game for Leeds United in the Premier League, but he was a rock at the back for them and former teammate David Norris has claimed that Marcelo Bielsa must love the defender.
Cooper is Leeds’ captain and not many would argue about it being anyone else with the way that he organises the team, leads by example and carries out instructions perfectly, which is why Bielsa never looked to replace him last summer – instead he wanted another centre back to complement his skipper.
Leeds will be looking to build on next season’s solid top-half finish with some quality additions as they already have a solid base and spine of their squad, and just a few more additions could potentially have them challenging at the right end of the table.
Still just 29-years-old, Cooper has plenty of time to continue developing and be a mainstay in the heart of Leeds’ defence for years to come as it appears unlikely that Bielsa will look to replace the one player he really admires, something Norris spoke exclusively to Football FanCast about:
“I think with Cooper being captain and knowing what Bielsa is like with wanting to trust players, then he obviously must love him.”
Cooper, rated at £6.3m by Transfermarkt, has been with Leeds since 2014 when he was signed from Chesterfield and since then he has never looked back, improving every season and dating his game under every manager he has worked under.
It is not just Cooper who is a leader on the pitch with the likes of Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips two other regulars under Bielsa that lead by example, but for the centre back to be the captain speaks volumes of his values and how he is as a person and player.