Leeds United supporters could be forgiven for being taken aback by the huge strides made by Liam Cooper since Thomas Christiansen took over in the summer.
The former skipper barely started a league game last season under Garry Monk but has comfortably dispelled any fears after Leeds failed to replace Kyle Bartley, helping The Whites to six consecutive clean sheets and forming an excellent partnership with Pontus Jansson.
Therefore, few are crying out for a new centre-half at Elland Road – a stark contrast to the majority of the summer window with fans clamouring for additions at the heart of the backline.
To Hel and back
Consequently, despite the fine form of Filip Helander at Serie A side Bologna, Cooper’s excellent displays mean Leeds renewing their interest in the Swedish international in January has taken on less importance.
Goal reported in July that Leeds had made a bid of around £3.5 million for Helander though Bologna were holding out for over £5 million. The report added that the former Hellas Verona defender would also have been open to playing alongside compatriot Jansson at Elland Road.
However, Leeds were unable to get the deal done with Everton youngster Matthew Pennington proving to be the only new centre-half arriving in West Yorkshire on a season-long loan.
Yet, with Cooper in arguably his best form in Leeds colours since moving from Chesterfield three years ago, you wonder whether The Whites need to make another approach for Helander at all in the January window – regardless of his increasingly impressive displays in Italy.
Further defensive depth may come in handy during a long season but, as it stands, it would seem a little counterproductive breaking up an ever-improving Jansson-Cooper partnership.