Steve Evans explains why Lewis Cook isn't playing for Leeds against Derby

Lewis Cook has been rested for Leeds' game against Derby County this evening.

Leeds United boss Steve Evans has told LUTV that midfielder Lewis Cook has been rested tonight, hence why he is on the bench against Derby County.

Leeds' well-publicised busy schedule means that they face Derby County at Elland Road just two days on from the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, with Derby having an extra 24 hours to recover having only played on Saturday.

That means that manager Evans has had to shuffle his pack a little, and whilst Sol Bamba has come in to defence in place of Giuseppe Bellusci, the big change sees Lewis Cook drop to the bench.

Cook, 18, has been a virtual mainstay of the Leeds side this season, playing 21 games in all competitions as he continues to develop into a key player at Elland Road.

Tonight though, the teenager has been replaced in midfield by Tom Adeyemi, but will be available from the bench against Derby tonight if Evans needs him.

Speaking to LUTV ahead of kick off, Evans has explained that he just wants to give Cook a rest and get Adeyemi back on the pitch, whilst also tipping midfielder Cook for big things - hopefully as a Leeds United player.

"Cook has been needing to come out for a week or two, just to have some time out," said Evans. "He's a marvellous, marvellous, top class player, and will grace bigger stages, but hopefully that's with Leeds United, because there's no bigger stage than Elland Road," he added.

At such a young age, it's key for Cook to get rest and prevent burnout, and tonight gives Leeds the chance to let Cook recharge his batteries during the busiest part of the season - and hopefully, Evans will reap the long-term benefits from putting him on the bench tonight.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch