By Jonty Banks

30th Mar, 2023 | 9:54pm

Liam Cooper can be saviour for Leeds United v Arsenal after Max Wober injury

Although Leeds United defender Liam Cooper managed just 15 minutes of competitive action during the international break, he can still be Javi Gracia’s saviour for the upcoming Premier League clash against Arsenal.

The Scotland international got his first taste of action in almost two months when he came from the bench in the closing stages of the Tartan Army’s miraculous 2-0 win over Spain on Tuesday (28 March).

And with Austrian international Max Wober simultaneously picking up an injury while in action for his country, Gracia may be forced into picking Cooper far sooner than he first expected.

The injury to Wober will possibly be even more frustrating than that of attacking live wire Willy Gnonto, with the Austrian defender having struck up a fierce partnership in the heart of the Whites’ defence alongside Robin Koch.

Drafting Cooper straight into the starting line-up comes with its risks for Leeds, with the centre-back having not taken to the field for Leeds since Jesse Marsch’s last game as manager against Nottingham Forest, and picking up another fresh injury quite possible.

However, from the little-seen from the 31-year-old against Spain, and knowing the character of the Leeds United veteran, who has featured over 250 times for the club, he will be bang up for the task that lies ahead.

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Cooper will certainly have to blow off the cobwebs in double time over the coming 48 hours, but Gracia has few other options to call upon in a match of this magnitude.

Travelling to the Emirates and attempting to get a result against Mikel Arteta’s side will be no mean feat, and the Whites boss will want every bit of experience he can get on the pitch.

Cooper might not be 100% ready, but Gracia has been left with little choice but to call upon the centre-back for the crunch clash against the Premier League title contenders.

In other Leeds news, Victor Orta could be set for a shock departure this summer after his recent interview comments.

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