25-year-old should be axed: Three things learned about Leeds from defeat v Reading
By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Leeds’ 1-0 defeat against Reading in the Championship.
Cooper should be dropped
Leeds defender Liam Cooper had a nightmare game against Reading and should be dropped by Garry Monk. The 25-year-old maintained his place in the starting XI and was the obvious choice to continue ahead of the injured Pontus Jansson. However, he proved on Saturday that he is a major liability in the Whites backline. Cooper was struggling all game against goalscorer Yann Kermorgant and was very vulnerable. The centre-back could have perhaps done better in the goal they conceded and should not be in Monk’s starting line-up. Leeds were regularly caught out too easily at the back and Cooper was a major fault in the big gaps appearing.
Hernandez goes missing again
Leeds’ attacking midfielder Pablo Hernandez is certainly one of the most talented players in the Championship, but too often disappears in games. The 31-year-old has the ability to grab games by the scruff of the neck and the Reading clash was another exampled when he failed to do so. Hernandez has made 31 appearances this season, scoring four goals and supplying eight assists. The playmaker has played a critical role in their push for promotion, but needs to consistently perform if he is to warrant a starting XI spot in every game.
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Roofe deserves chance
Leeds’ wide positions has been a constant problem area this campaign and nobody has really asserted a starting position for a long spell. Monk should now turn to attacker Kemar Roofe, who has been waiting patiently for another chance. The 24-year-old has played more of a bit-part role in the past month and deserves the chance to come into the side ahead of the potential play-off matches. Roofe has managed three goals and supplied six assists so far this season and is arguably the most attack-minded player of Leeds’ wide options.
In other Leeds news, Ian Harte has delivered his verdict on Charlie Taylor.