Leeds United employee heralds Cooper after injury latest pre-Arsenal

By Noel Whelan

6th May, 2022 | 7:00pm

Leeds United employee issues critical Liam Cooper claim before Arsenal clash

Noel Whelan has tipped Liam Cooper to play “through the pain barrier” for Leeds United against Arsenal after recovering from injury.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and club ambassador insisted the 30-year-old’s “experience” and “influence” will be needed against the Gunners.

Speaking at his press conference on Friday (6 May), Jesse Marsch revealed he expects the defender to play on Sunday after taking part in training this week.

The defender missed the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City after picking up a knee issue in the warm up.

Whelan claimed it was “vitally important” Cooper did not risk himself against City to keep himself fit for upcoming games.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s one of these players that will go through the pain barrier for the team.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Cooper puts the team first before himself. He’s a player that has an influence on the match and on the squad when they’re out there.

“We seem to be a lot more solid when we have those leadership skills that he possesses out there. He’s the club captain and he has a lot of respect from the players around him because of that.

“It wasn’t ideal preparation at the start of the Man City game. You don’t want to be losing an influential figure like Liam Cooper.

“But he felt something and felt it wasn’t right. He protected himself for the upcoming games, which is vitally important. It shows that experience and common sense in a player.

“You need to have that so as not to aggravate it any further. That, or prolong an injury that could be dealt with straight away.

“Hopefully, he will be taking part in the game against Arsenal on Sunday. He is going to be needed out there.”

In other news, Football Insider can reveal Leeds United fear senior star could be missing until the 2023/24 season.