Danny Mills claims that Leeds United have been handed a blessing in disguise after Liam Cooper picked up an injury which forces him out of international duty.

The former Leeds and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Scotland international’s minor setback could not have come at a better time, giving the Whites the chance to rest their captain ready for a busy festive period.

Leeds have confirmed that Cooper picked up a slight tear in a groin muscle in the win over Blackburn Rovers which means he has missed out on playing for his country.

Mills says that the injury blow could actually prove to be good news for Marcelo Bielsa and his men, highlighting that he can fully recover from his issue at Elland Road before returning to first-team action.

Asked if Cooper’s setback was a blessing in disguise, Mills told Football Insider: “Oh definitely. The fact that there’s an international break, they can keep that player at home, they can look after him, they can try and get him as much treatment as he needs.

“They can give him almost 10 days of rest, it’s a great opportunity and he will be under Leeds’ care in that time. That works out quite well, not the actual injury itself but the timing.” 

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Cooper, 28, has been a mainstay at the heart of the defence for Marcelo Bielsa since the manager’s arrival at Elland Road, with 12 appearances across all competitions this season.

He missed Scotland’s last international fixtures with a similar issue which also kept him out of three Leeds games.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal that the club have agreed terms of a new £5million deal.