Why Leeds United have struck gold with a new deal for Liam Cooper
According to Sky Sports, Liam Cooper has become the latest Leeds United player to commit his long-term future to the club, with the 28-year-old putting pen to paper on a new five-year deal at Elland Road.
The new five-year deal for Cooper, who earned his senior international debut for Scotland during the most recent international break, should extend his stay in West Yorkshire until the summer of 2024.
The news of Cooper’s new contract also coincides with Stuart Dallas committing his long-term future to the Whites, with the Northern Irishman signing a fresh four-year deal at Elland Road until 2023. (h/t Sky Sports)
After a busy summer transfer window in West Yorkshire which witnessed the departure of players like Pontus Jansson and Kemar Roofe and the acquisition of Ben White, Helder Costa, Jack Harrison and Eddie Nketiah on loan from various Premier League clubs, Leeds have moved quickly to secure the futures of some of their key first-team players.
Kalvin Phillips recently penned a new five-year deal to ward off interest from a host of top-flight clubs and a few others have already followed suit, with Cooper and Dallas the latest to commit their long-term futures.
Leeds, though, still have a decision to make on the future of Mateusz Klich, who is also out of contract next summer.
Cooper has been an ever-present at the back for Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa this term, with the 28-year-old starting each of the club’s first six games in the Championship and guiding the Whites to three clean sheets.
The former Hull City star also featured for Scotland at the back in their 2-1 defeat to Russia at Hampden Park in the European qualifiers last Friday.
Currently into his sixth season at Elland Road, Cooper has been a mainstay at the back for the Whites ever since his move to West Yorkshire from Chesterfield in 2014.
The former Hull City man has accumulated a total of 165 appearances for Leeds in all competitions till date, scoring 6 times in the process.
To put things into perspective, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that Leeds United have, indeed, struck gold with a new contract for Liam Cooper.
He has been a figure of reliability and an effective leader at the back for the Whites over the past five seasons and at 28, the Scotsman is very much in his prime years as a centre-back.
Plus, Cooper’s stocks are expected to soar higher than ever in the future following his international debut and the new contract might as well go a long way towards helping Leeds hold on to one of their key first-team players.
A ball-playing centre-back who excels with his proficiency in dealing with aerial balls and has the ability to break up the play with tackles and interceptions, Cooper has proven himself to be a perfect fit for Bielsa’s philosophy and he is certainly a key part of the club’s plans moving forward, regardless of which division they play their football next season.
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Leeds certainly couldn’t afford to lose Cooper anytime soon after parting ways with Jansson earlier this summer and the fresh contract can be regarded as a vote of confidence in the player’s abilities.
Suffice to say, this is a move that makes perfect sense for the Whites and one that could pay rich dividends in the years to come.