By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

23rd Nov, 2019 | 10:50am

Exclusive: Paul Robinson says Bielsa has 'outstanding' replacement if key man ruled out v Luton

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…

Paul Robinson has said that Liam Cooper will be a big miss for Leeds if he fails a late fitness test, but that Marcelo Bielsa has a solid replacement in Gaetano Berardi. 

Cooper withdrew from the Scotland squad during the international break after scan results showed he had suffered a slight tear in his groin.

In his Thursday press conference, Bielsa said that the centre-back had a “chance” of making the game on Saturday, but with three games coming up in eight days he might not be risked.

Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds news, Robinson said, “Ben White has been a huge bonus for Leeds this season. If Liam Cooper was missing it would obviously be a blow for Leeds, but Berardi has been outstanding when he’s come in.

“He’s filled the void left by Cooper before and the biggest compliment you can give Berardi is that we haven’t missed Cooper when he’s been out this season.”

Berardi has started five games this season, all at centre-back and Leeds have only conceded one goal while he’s been on the pitch.

He was sent off after 14 minutes in the game against Millwall that Leeds went on to lose 2-1, but he had his red card rescinded afterwards.

After Pablo Hernandez signed a new contract earlier this week, Berardi is the only first-team player left on a contract that expires next summer.

In other Leeds United news, read our full Leeds United v Luton Town preview here