The German wants the midfielder to become a more potent threat at the business end of the pitch.
Leeds United boss Uwe Rosler has been speaking to the media today after what seems to be his first speed bump as boss at Elland Road.
The German saw his executive director Adam Pearson depart the club this week and also suffered his first league defeat as Leeds boss – a 1-0 home loss against Ipswich Town at Elland Road.
In that game he received some criticism for the way he employed Lewis Cook. The talented teen has been in great form over the past 18 months but as a more reserved midfield player. Instead he was asked to play wide on Tuesday and struggled with the new role.
But Rosler told his press conference that he had no plans to backtrack on his plans to move Cook up the pitch as he feels this is where he will have the best impact for the club. He told Radio Yorkshire:
“We saw in the game (v Ipswich) that we did not have enough players who commit opposition. When you are running at people and you dribble then you commit defenders and when you commit defenders that frees up other players.
“When you saw Brentford and (Alan) Judge, you saw Ipswich with (Ryan) Fraser. So in that two games we didn’t have this accept for Cooky, who more or less did that from a deeper position but also did it on the left and on the right but much earlier from the deeper position. We need that sort of quality. To make sure that the defenders have to commit and you free up other players.
“His DNA is that of a midfield player, a central midfield player. He was very comfortable on the left against Ipswich however so in general I see him as an advanced midfielder. Going into the final third, taking people on, committing defenders, breaking into the box, providing assists and scoring goals. Using his enormous talent and dynamism that he has in areas where he can really hurt the opposition."
He was also pressed on whether he would be giving Cook specific targets for the season, which he made clear would not be happening:
“(I have not given him specific targets) we can’t afford to lose his playground mentality, his natural play, because that makes him the player he is.”
Cook is indeed a top talent and in time to come moving him into a more advanced position might just be the answer regarding this curious case. The 18-year-old starlet has plenty of time however to adapt his game and improve on his match fitness at which point he might actually begin to transition more and more into an attacking role.