By Danny Wright

Leeds have confirmed that defender Liam Cooper has signed a new four-year contract.

The Whites announced on their official Twitter account and official website on Thursday afternoon that the 25-year-old had agreed terms to extending his Elland Road stay until 2021.

Cooper is the latest defender to put pen-to-paper on a new deal with Leeds within the last two weeks with full-backs Tyler Denton and Gaetano Berardi extending their stays as well as Kalvin Phillips.

Leeds are desperately short of options in the centre-back area at the moment, however Pontus Jansson is set to return from his suspension on Saturday when Thomas Christiansen’s side plays host to Preston.

The clubs only other natural central defensive option Matthew Pennington is expected to be out of the clash through injury, meaning that it’s a major boost for Leeds to have tied down Cooper on such a long-term deal.

The former Hull and Huddersfield stopper only played 18 times across all competitions for the Whites last season as he spent multiple spells on the sidelines through suspension and had to cope with playing second fiddle to Kyle Bartley.

However now that Bartley has returned to Swansea after a brilliant loan spell, Christiansen is expected to see Cooper as one of his most pivotal players for the rest of the season.

Football Insider Verdict

This is a good piece of business for Leeds and it’s a great indicator as to how Andrea Radrizzani is looking to run the club. You have to wonder whether players like Charlie Taylor or even Bartley could have been tied down by the club had the Italian businessman gained full control of the Whites earlier than he did. Although Cooper had a very mixed time last term, he’s emerged as one of the club’s most important players. It’s unlikely that a centre-back will be signed up to oust him from the first-team now as the decision to give him the captain’s armband at Bolton shows that he is seen as a key man. Him and Jansson could be two of the most influential players in the squad this season as the hunt for a Premier League return continues.

In other Leeds news, the Whites are also looking to tie up a new deal for this key first-team midfielder.

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