Garry Monk explains reasons why he's kept Lewis Cook at Leeds United pre-season training

Leeds United’s Lewis Cook scores their first goal

Lewis Cook trained with Leeds United's first team yesterday.

Swansea manager Garry Monk

Garry Monk has admitted to Leeds United’s official site that it was a very difficult decision for him to block Lewis Cook playing for England’s under-19 side at the European Championships this summer.

Cook was set to play for the Three Lions at the international tournament, but Monk decided that he wanted to keep the central-midfielder at Elland Road for pre-season.

The former Swansea City boss believes Cook will be important to Leeds this campaign, and he felt that missing pre-season would have been disadvantageous for his side.

Leeds United’s Lewis Cook scores their first goal

“It was a very difficult decision for myself,” Monk explained. “I spoke to Lewis and told him how important he is to this team and for the project going forward.

“I just felt that to miss him for pretty much the whole of pre-season would be detrimental to the player and detrimental to myself and the team.

“I took the decision. Talking to the player, I made him very aware of the reasons why and he fully understood.”

Leeds returned to pre-season yesterday, with Cook taking a full part in Monk’s first session in charge at the Yorkshire club.

Cook was a mainstay in Leeds’ midfield last term, and he looks likely to be an integral part of Monk’s team this time around.

Lewis Cook of Leeds United in action with Henri Lansbury of Nottingham Forest

The 19-year-old is one of a number of exciting youngsters currently breaking through at Elland Road, alongside the likes of Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor.

Monk’s Leeds side are set to have a busy pre-season, as they prepare to go on a tour of Ireland next month.

Leeds also have a collection of domestic friendlies lined-up, as Monk assesses the quality he has in his squad for the first time.

Lewis Cook of Leeds United (L) and Luke Chambers of Ipswich Town in action

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