By Pranav Shahaney

12th Jun, 2021 | 12:10pm

Dominic Matteo waxes lyrical of Leeds captain Liam Cooper

Dominic Matteo has been left thrilled by Leeds United captain Liam Cooper for proving himself this past season and silencing his critics.

Cooper, who moved to Elland Road in 2014, has seen his Leeds career go through certain ups and downs under numerous managers.

However, he’s fought them all to go on to captain the Yorkshire outfit and has become a regular at the heart of the defence for his national side.

Speaking about his career trajectory and his general impact on the Leeds team, the Sky Sports pundit told The Yorkshire Evening Post, “People have doubted him, everyone has probably wondered at some stage if he could do it at the highest level and he’s proven himself this season.

“I never got a chance to play in the EUROs or a World Cup and didn’t play enough games for Scotland so I’ll be very proud if Cooper gets his opportunity. I hope he takes it.

“The couple of years Cooper has had, becoming a good Premier League player and now maybe getting the chance to play in the EUROs, he deserves it, it’s another step in what is becoming a brilliant career.”

Couldn’t agree more

The Scotland defender has been a leader in every sense of the word. He’s been a great communicator, led by example, and has followed the manager’s instructions to the T by being a phenomenal bridge between management and the rest of the squad.

Whenever he’s missed out, our defence has tended to look a lot more porous as the organisation he brings is second to none in this Leeds side.

There have been moments where he’s struggled, but like every fighter, he’s fought his way out of hardship to become one of Marcelo Bielsa’s first names on the team sheet.

We’re hoping he has a good tournament with Scotland at the Euros and comes back stronger than ever for next season.

He will need to be, with Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk all fighting hard for those two central positions under Bielsa at Elland Road.

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