Paul Robinson backs Liam Cooper to stay in Leeds United squad despite Scotland snub
We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United.
Paul Robinson backs Liam Cooper to continue playing in the Leeds United starting line-up despite being benched by Scotland on Sunday.
Cooper, 30, has played every minute of every Premier League game for Leeds so far this season but it’s fair to say the ex-Hull centre-back divides opinion among the Elland Road faithful.
Last time out, he and Diego Llorente kept a clean sheet as the Yorkshire giants won 1-0 against Watford.
However, Cooper’s performances for Leeds are yet to see him cement his spot in Steve Clarke’s starting line-up with Scotland.
On Sunday, the Scots beat Israel 3-2 in World Cup qualifying but Cooper was snubbed for a spot in the starting 11 and had to make do with a short cameo off the bench at the end of the game.
Cooper has started just three of Scotland’s last 17 international matches but Robinson feels as though the Leeds captain’s spot in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting line-up is nailed on despite the form of Pascal Struijk and Llorente.
“Cooper is the captain and until his performances go woeful, I think he should be playing for them,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“In my opinion, the strongest centre-back partnership is Cooper and Llorente. Llorente’s a better player and Cooper’s a better player when he has Llorente alongside him.
“There’s no coincidence that Leeds played well and kept a clean sheet against Watford when Llorente came back in and it was exactly the same at the end of last season when everyone was talking about Leeds’ defensive stability.
“[Pascal] Struijk has developed, he’s proven a lot of people wrong and he’s becoming a good player but for me, Cooper and Llorente are first-choice centre-halves if everyone is fit.”
In other Leeds United news, the Whites are set for a major boost when they play Southampton.