Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa waves at fans

Darren Bent believes Liam Cooper will step straight back into the Leeds United starting XI against Fulham after his return from injury.

The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the Whites could do with the Scotland international’s leadership after their “naivety” against Liverpool last weekend.

Marcelo Bielsa confirmed at his pre-match press conference that the 29-year-old was available for selection after his injury layoff.

The centre-back missed the Whites’ 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, while he was also absent for the League Cup defeat to Hull City.

Bent, who has criticised Leeds for their defensive openness against the Reds, believes that Cooper will be straight back into the starting XI against the Cottagers.

“I would expect him to come back in because there was a little bit of naivety shown last week with the defending for some of the goals,” Bent told Football Insider.

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“I fully expect him to go back in if he’s fit enough but listen, I’m sure he’ll be absolutely champing at the bit because I’m sure he wants to get back in there and play Premier League football.

“He’s been at Leeds for a while now and waited to get this chance to play in the Premier League so I’m pretty sure he’ll want to jump back in.” 

Bielsa started new signing Robin Koch alongside young prospect Pascal Struijk at the heart of the defence against Liverpool.

The Germany international conceded a penalty for handball early on for the first of three Mo Salah goals.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can REVEAL the club have submitted a new bid for a Brighton defender.