Liam Cooper was a surprise inclusion in Scotland’s National Team for the upcoming Euro 2024 fixtures later this month despite the Leeds captain being injured for the last six weeks – and Leeds must take action, stopping him travelling.
Cooper, 31, played in the 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest. Jesse Marsch’s last game in charge. But since then, he has been missing from the Leeds side. He was on the bench against Everton but remained an unused sub, clearly not 100%.
Speaking his pre-match programme notes before the 2-2 draw against Brighton, Cooper underlined the frustration he feels with his injury. Even if he was fit though, you would have to argue he would struggle to start over Max Wober.
But despite his lack of game time and injury status, Cooper has been called-up by Steve Clarke to represent Scotland over the next couple of weeks. Clarke’s Scotland take on Cyprus and Spain in Euro 2024 qualifiers later this month.
Cooper a surprise inclusion in Scotland team: Leeds have got to block him
Leeds are in the midst of a Premier League relegation fight and need all of their players fit to give us the best chance of survival. Wober does remain first choice, but the Austrian has been in the wars since joining – especially, at Everton.
Wober has also been called-up by Austria for the international break and an injury to him would see Leeds lack the required quality on the left of the two centre-backs. Pascal Struijk is fit and available, but has struggled in the middle.
Leeds need Cooper fit just in case Wober does suffer an injury or becomes available. Therefore, over the international break, Leeds need Cooper to regain his fitness and be available for the run-in. Travelling with Scotland does not help.
So, Leeds need to speak to Cooper and urge the Whites skipper to pull out of the Scotland squad later this month. Instead, remaining at Thorp Arch and getting himself fit again to at least be a part of Javi Gracia’s squad next month.