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Leeds United can land their next Liam Cooper by signing Nathan Collins

Leeds United had one of the shakiest defences in the Premier League last season as the Whites conceded 79 goals across their 38 games.

This only left Norwich City with a worse defensive record throughout the campaign, which saw the Canaries go down with a whimper and Leeds scrape top-flight safety on the final day.

One reason for this poor defensive record could be down to the absence of captain Liam Cooper in the team for a significant length of time. In fact, Leeds lost 12 of the 17 Premier League games that the Scotsman missed, whereas they were beaten on only six of the 21 matches in which he did feature.

Despite Cooper’s clear importance to the team at the back, the Whites and Jesse March could use the current transfer window to find a suitable long-term replacement for the 30-year-old.

One man with whom the Whites have been linked recently and who could fit this particular bill is Burnley defender Nathan Collins.

After working his way through Stoke City’s youth ranks and making 47 appearances for their first team, the 21-year-old joined Burnley last summer.

Throughout his debut season at Turf Moor, the Irishman made 19 league appearances for the Clarets, in which he won 23 tackles and made 37 interceptions, 48 blocks and 102 clearances, as per FBRef.

To compare that with the 21 league games in which Cooper featured for Leeds, he won 18 tackles and made 40 interceptions, 32 blocks and 117 clearances, as per FBRef.

Would you like to see Leeds sign Nathan Collins this summer?

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Labelled a “brick wall” by Jamie O’Hara, Collins has also made his mark in front of goal, particularly when he scored what was described by his national team boss Stephen Kenny as a “sublime” goal for the Republic of Ireland earlier this month.

With a reported price tag of £25m, this could be an investment worth making for Leeds given how poor their defence was last season.

Also, given the age difference between the Burnley youngster and Cooper, he could be the perfect long-term replacement for the Scotland international whenever the 30-year-old decides to call an end to his time at Elland Road.

If the Clarets are willing to cash in on the young defender this summer, the Whites should definitely be in the mix to bring him back to the Premier League.

In other news: Leeds in the mix to sign £19.8m-rated “pure talent”, Marsch would love him

Article title: Leeds United can land their next Liam Cooper by signing Nathan Collins

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