Adrian Durham has suggested that Leeds United captain Liam Cooper wouldn’t start if everyone was fully fit at Elland Road.
The talkSPORT host claimed that Diego Llorente and Robin Koch would most likely start ahead of the skipper, who has impressed in the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa has had numerous defensive problems this season and even had to contend with the absence of Kalvin Phillips in the 4-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Durham claimed that the Whites defensive injury crisis is similar to that of Premier League champions Liverpool.
“Are they aware that only one of Leeds’ back four yesterday was in his proper position because of all the injuries they’ve got?
“Apparently, it’s okay for Liverpool to use that as an excuse but not a newly-promoted side who are going to survive comfortably.
“Shackleton, Alioski are not natural back four material, Ayling is a full-back more than a centre-back. Cooper is the only one, and he probably wouldn’t be in the team at centre-half if everybody was fit, it might well be Llorente and Koch.”
This is a very big claim to make.
On one hand, it makes sense, with Spain and Germany internationals waiting in the wings to recover from their injuries to jump in at Elland Road, it’s been a long time since we said that.
On the other, Cooper has captained this Leeds side for years and made his 200th appearance against Arsenal, without putting a foot wrong.
Bielsa is loyal, and we can’t see him dropping his trusted captain.
Cooper has made 2.7 tackles per game this season according to WhoScored, no one has made more than that in the entire squad.
We haven’t had the luxury of having all three available at once this season, and it appears as though a big decision is facing Bielsa in the next month.
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