The form of Liam Cooper has come under the microscope of late. Many believe that the Leeds United captain is one of the weak link’s in this Leeds side – but the signing of Max Wober might have just given Cooper a kick up the back side.
Cooper, 31, clocked up his 257th appearance for Leeds on Wednesday night, a 2-2 draw with West Ham. He is still first choice, despite joining the club almost nine years ago from Chesterfield – during Massimo Cellino’s first summer.
But recently, his form at the back has coincided with the form of the club as a whole. Just two Premier League wins since August is alarming. There have been positives with the wins – the 4-3 loss to Spurs, the display against Arsenal.
Leeds have completed the signing of 24-year-old Wober. The fourth player Marsch has brought in having worked with beforehand. It is up for debate where he eventually wins a place in the side – either at centre-back, or at left-back.
Wober signing gives Leeds captain Cooper a kick up the backside
The chances are, though, that Wober replaces Cooper. Either a straight swap for the 14-time Scotland defender, or, replacing Pascal Struijk at left-back – allowing Struijk to move into the middle. Either way, Cooper drops out.
On Wednesday night, Wober was paraded at Elland Road on the pitch – unavailable to play. But it will have rung the alarm bells for £35k-a-week Cooper – who needed a big display against West Ham. To send Jesse Marsch a reminder.
He did just that. WhoScored handed him a rating of 7.29 – Leeds’ second best behind Willy Gnonto’s 8.05. Our second best passing rate behind Tyler Adams with 41 out of 47. Five tackles, our best. Four interceptions, top of the pile.
He should have topped a strong display off with a goal. Cooper’s late header was blocked on the line and the rebound blazed over the bar. It might be that the arrival of Wober has given Cooper a much-needed kick up the backside.