Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn explained to BBC Radio Leeds why midfielder Lewis Cook is so important to the club’s defence.
Cook is currently out of action as he recovers from an injury he picked up during the international break and Redfearn has explained why he is an ideal player for Leeds to have in front of their back four.
“He helps the back four because he’s comfortable in possession and deals with the ball well, he blocks things off and he’s athletic enough to get back and recover,” said Redfearn.
What makes Cook’s impact at Leeds so far all the more remarkable is the fact he’s still a very young man at 18-years-old and a player who is still developing physically.
He’s played with an impressive level of maturity in big games and relies on his natural talent to be able to read the game and predict passages of play, which compensates for what he lacks in terms of strength and size.
If Leeds can keep him at Elland Road and keep him happy, there’s no reason why he can’t become the club’s most important player over the next few seasons.
His main challenge is going to be eradicating the weaknesses from his game and finding ways to improve physically so he can reduce the chances that he’s going to pick up knocks and problems, which lead to spells out of the team.
All Redfearn has to do is continue having the faith to play him consistently in big games and having the guts to play him in front of the defence ahead of someone like Rodolph Austin who has more experience and is a bigger and more imposing player.