Darren Bent raved about Leeds United defender Liam Cooper following his cameo appearance in the 2-1 win over Luton Town on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former England international claimed that it was a “blessing in disguise” for Leeds to have a player like Cooper to call upon against Luton as he was a reassuring presence.
The 28-year-old replaced Gaetano Berardi in the 59th minute of the Whites’ victory over the Hatters and played his part in helping his side see their unbeaten run stretch to six games.
Bent explained that Cooper was so important to Leeds that if he isn’t on the pitch then it’s vital that he is still around the squad due to his leadership qualities.
When asked about how impressive it was that Cooper settled his team down against Luton when coming off the bench, Bent told Football Insider: “He’s their captain, he’s their leader and he’s one of their players who has been there and done it before with Leeds.
“He knows what to expect, so at the same time they need him on the pitch, but if he isn’t on the pitch they need him around the place.
“He’s been at that club a long time, he knows what it takes to play in front of the fans and yeah it’s a blessing in disguise again that they can call on a player like that to come on, settle everyone down, and then go again.”
Cooper has played 13 times for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season with a groin injury limiting his playing time as it caused him to spend three games sat on the sidelines.
The Scottish centre-back has been at Elland Road since joining from Chesterfield FC in August 2014, and he has featured 172 times for the club so far.