Leeds United news: Whelan wants Cooper back in XI

By Noel Whelan

22nd Apr, 2019 | 12:16pm

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Marcelo Bielsa must recall Liam Cooper to the Leeds United team against Brentford on Monday evening if he is passed fit for selection, according to Noel Whelan.

Skipper Cooper has missed the last two United matches with a muscle injury and Bielsa suggested in the wake of Friday’s defeat to Wigan Athletic he could also be sidelined for the Griffin Park clash.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan is in no doubt that the centre-back must be recalled to partner Pontus Jansson if he is available.

“We’re not sure if he is going to make it, but if he is fit and ready to play, he has got to start,” Whelan said. “There was no harmony between Jansson and Gaetano Berardi the other day.

“The defence looked like it was all over the place. We looked disjointed at the back and vulnerable, and Wigan didn’t have to work hard for their goals.

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“Liam Cooper was a massive miss. He’s been brilliant this season and I’d have no hesitation in bringing him back in if he’s fit.”

Berardi has stepped in to replace Cooper against Wigan, which Leeds lost 2-1, and the previous match versus Sheffield Wednesday, in which they triumphed 1-0.

United are third in the Championship ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday fixtures, level with second-placed Sheffield United on points but behind on goal difference.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have set their sights on signing two Liverpool players who have dazzled this season.