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Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, Liam Cooper has been full of praise for Pascal Struijk, labelling him as ‘different class’.

The centre-back has really stepped up this term, and it’s hard to believe that he’d never been a regular starter for Leeds before their promotion.

United’s defence looked to be in disarray this summer after the departure of Ben White, and while the signings of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch were made to improve the backline, it’s Struijk who has had arguably the biggest impact.

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“I trained hard all week and I was available for selection, but with the team doing so well I’d never expect to walk straight back in the team,” said Cooper.

“Pascal and Diego have been different class and all I could do was try and push them and work hard all week.”

Cooper then went on to speak about Llorente, before coming back to praise Struijk.

“He’s played with Pascal as well. Pascal’s been unbelievable this season and now we’ve got four players going for the two positions.

“It’s only healthy. You know if you have a couple of bad games you’re out of the team and the next man’s waiting to take your spot.

“It’s only healthy and that’s the level we’ve got to get to.”

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It seems as though there’s plenty of healthy competition amongst Leeds’ centre-halves.

As Cooper says, he knows the level he’s got to get to, and it seems as though he’s well aware of the challenge he faces.

The Whites are in a fortunate position in that they’ve got four quality centre-halves vying for two spots, and while Marcelo Bielsa may be presented with a few selection headaches, it’s not a bad position to be in.

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