Cooper solid on Leeds return, one clear area to be improved

Elland Road Revie Stand

Liam Cooper was better than Sol Bamba in several areas on his return to the Leeds United line-up last night.

Leeds United defender Liam Cooper slotted back into the side’s back four last night as captain, but he couldn’t prevent Neil Redfearn’s team from falling to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brighton.

Cooper played alongside Sol Bamba, who has made a decent start to life at the club since joining on loan during the January transfer window.

  PositionTeamPassing AccuracyTouchesAerial WonWon TackleInterception WonTotal ClearanceAppearancesMins Played
Sol Bamba DF Leeds 90% 35 1 0 2 4 1 90
Liam Cooper DF Leeds 79% 53 4 4 7 9 1 90

One key area where Cooper was way behind Bamba on his return to the team was his passing accuracy. He had a higher number of touches in possession, but struggled in terms of getting the play moving forward quickly and effectively.

However, Cooper was superb in terms of the aerial duels he won, the number of tackles he made, the number of interceptions he made and the number of clearances he made, which eased the pressure on his team.

He was hungry and on the pulse last night, so it’s a shame the rest of the Leeds back four weren’t on the same wavelength.

He’s put Redfearn in a difficult position when Giuseppe Bellusci becomes available again and has strengthened his claim for a spot in the heart of the back four.

If Bamba and Bellusci can replicate his stats in key areas from last night, Leeds will have a very strong backline for the rest of the season.

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