Liam Cooper fails to impress for Scotland in 3-1 defeat v France, Daniel Farke will cringe at Leeds United
Leeds United captain Liam Cooper played 65 minutes for Scotland as they suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to France at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Tuesday and his performance will have Daniel Farke cringing at Elland Road.
Manager Steve Clarke called up the Whites ace for their huge Euro 2024 qualifier against Spain on Thursday (12 October) but was nowhere to be seen in their 2-0 defeat.
The Elland Road veteran has also endured a bit-part role back at his club so far this season with Daniel Farke preferring Tottenham loanee Joe Rodon and Pascal Struijk at centre-back, starting just three Championship games.
The Scotland international was close to leaving Elland Road during the summer after plenty of interest from the Saudi Pro League, a situation where may would have expected him to call time on his nine-year career in West Yorkshire.
The Athletic journalist Phil Hay reported on 17 October that Cooper had a £4million contract offer on the table from Saudi Arabia over the summer.
A £40,000-a-week contract for two years, tax-free was ready to go from Al-Qadisah, currently managed by Robbie Fowler.
The interest and contract offer never made it to the stage of a formal bid to Leeds themselves, and the skipper remained at Elland Road, rather than forcing a way out.
Despite that amount of money being on offer, there was said to be no question of Cooper sticking around and he managed to keep his captaincy under Daniel Farke.
But with his contract at Elland Road up in under year in June 2024, and no talk of a contract extension at the club, the countdown is certainly on for the Leeds veteran to finally call it quits.
The international break will have given him the opportunity to boost his fitness and match rhythm after limited minutes under Farke, but in his only start of the October break against France on Tuesday night (17 October), the 32-year-old was woeful.
As per SofaScore, Cooper failed to win any of his ground duels, recorded zero tackles on his 65 minutes on the pitch, touched the ball just 36 times all evening, dribbled past once and gave away a penalty for which Kylian Mbappe converted to make it 3-1 before half-time.
The Elland Road veteran has proven a remarkable stalwart for Leeds United over the past few seasons but this latest international showing proves he is certainly on his last legs and may not offer Farke much in the way of defensive quality as the club gear up for a strong promotion challenge this season.
Given the attractive money he was offered in the summer, Cooper may look for a way out in January to a league where the pace and intensity may be ideal for him, and the Whites certainly won’t stand in his way should the opportunity arise again.