By George Overhill

21st Apr, 2022 | 12:40pm

Charlie Cresswell wants to emulate 'role model' Leeds United captain Liam Cooper

Leeds United under-23s captain Charlie Cresswell wants to emulate senior skipper and “role model” Liam Cooper at the club.

The 19-year-old has broken into the first team this season to make five appearances in the Premier League, after making his senior debut in the league cup last season.

That has tempered his involvement in Premier League 2 with the age group side, but he is set to lead them out for a crucial game at Elland Road on Friday in front of what may be a record crowd at that level.

The teenager looks to his senior teammate for inspiration as he develops as a leader, telling the Yorkshire Post: “Obviously I look up to Coops; I think most people in the academy and even the club look up to Coops because he’s such a good captain and such a good role model.

“So, if I can take little bits from Coops and what he does every day, and what he does to better himself and better the team as a collective, I think I can take that into my role and try to do that with my team and my team-mates and help them.”

Production line

The Post notes that Cresswell is seen as an “heir apparent” to Cooper at the club, suggesting he may be set for a big future.

The under-23s are struggling to maintain their Premier League 2 status just as the senior side are aiming to complete their own battle to remain in the top flight.

An injury crisis this season negatively affected both, as it robbed the first-team of key players for long periods, including Cooper, forcing youngsters to fill gaps and leave the reserve side shorthanded.

Cresswell may be set to help ensure survival for both, having recently played a half under Jesse Marsch in the win at Wolves in his most recent outing.

Cooper’s crucial role at Elland Road was demonstrated in the last match at Watford, as a sloppy display saw plenty of last-ditch defending but resulted in a clean sheet in a 3-0 win.

The same game during his absence more often than not resulted in a collapse and heavy defeat.

If Cresswell, and other youngsters who have broken through such as Sam Greenwood, Joe Gelhardt and Crysencio Summerville, can follow his example then the club will be in good hands going forward.

In other Leeds United news, one first-team favourite appears to be unhappy under the new manager after what he avoided saying in a recent interview.