Javi Gracia has told Thursday’s press conference – as per Leeds United’s YouTube channel – that Liam Cooper is “ready” to play this weekend against Wolves after recovering from an injury, after he was named in Scotland’s National squad.
Cooper, 31, has been sidelined for six weeks – having last played in Jesse Marsch’s final game, a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest. The skipper’s injury is somewhat unknown with Gracia preferring not to discuss injuries in press conferences.
Earlier this week, Leeds broke the news that USA skipper Tyler Adams has picked up a hamstring injury. An issue that will see Adams miss this weekend’s outing against Wolves – and USA’s games in the international break this month.
Gracia spoke in his press conference and was asked about Cooper being named in the Scotland squad. He confirmed that the centre-back is ready to play against Wolves – stating the left-footer’s importance is not just on the pitch.
“Liam has been out of the team for some time. Now he is with the team, he can do many things on the pitch – but is very important off the pitch. His personality can help us in this moment. I’m sure he can help us. Yeah, he’s ready.”
Javi Gracia says Liam Cooper is ready to play for Leeds against Wolves
Cooper is unlikely to be thrown into the starting line-up at Wolves, unless Gracia decides to change formation and play three at the back – something Leeds have not done in years. Robin Koch and Max Wober will continue in defence.
But – as Gracia says – having Cooper fit again is crucial for the morale of the squad. To get everyone go in the dressing room, to get everyone ready and pumped. His off-field attitude is crucial to Leeds, shown in last season’s run in.