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Leeds United played a blinder with the signing of Liam Cooper in 2014

Leeds United have undergone a changing of the guard in the 2022/23 campaign after the sales of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips led to a number of signings in the summer.

Victor Orta backed Jesse Marsch in the transfer market by signing Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams, Wilfried Gnonto, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi, Joel Robles, and Rasmus Kristensen.

Jesse Marsch has not needed to rely on some of the tried and trusted from previous years, as the likes of Luke Ayling, Adam Forshaw, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper have not been heavily involved.

The Whites skipper is yet to make his first Premier League appearance of the season as he continues to deal with an Achilles injury. However, he did play 45 minutes in the 3-1 win over Barnsley in the League Cup last month.

Cooper has been with Leeds since he joined the club from Chesterfield back in the summer of 2014 for a reported fee in the region of £600k.

Dave Hockaday was in charge of the Whites at the time and his decision to bring the centre-back in was a blinder as the central defender has gone to achieve great success in Yorkshire.

He instantly became a regular in the team in the Championship and he racked up 109 league appearances for the club in his first four seasons.

Marcelo Bielsa arrived in the summer of 2018 and Cooper was a key player for the Argentine manager as he averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.29 across 39 appearances in 2018/19 – the highest rating in the entire squad.

The enforcer caught the eye again in the 2019/20 title-winning campaign as he averaged a score of 7.11 – ranking fourth in the squad as he lifted the trophy as captain.

Goalkeeper Tommy Lee previously claimed that he had a “Ramos-style” to his game in the way that he stepped out from the back with the ball, which is a comparison he also earned from The Athletic’s Jack Collins, who dubbed him “Ramos-esque” due to his importance in defence for the Whites.

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His ability to play out from the back allowed him to settle into life in the Premier League following the club’s promotion in 2020. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.06 in the top-flight in 2020/21 – the second-best score in the team – and completed 85.6% of his passes, making him a reliable player in possession of the ball.

To date, he has played 247 competitive matches and is valued by Transfermarkt at £6.3m. This means that his value has rocketed by 950% from the initial £600k Leeds paid to sign him from Chesterfield, which illustrates why the club played a blinder by signing him as they have got more than their money’s worth from him on the pitch.

Article title: Leeds United played a blinder with the signing of Liam Cooper in 2014

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