'Losing him will be a Killer' - Exclusive: Bent reacts to early Leeds team news
It would be a “killer” blow for Leeds United if captain Liam Cooper is unable to play against Wolves tonight, according to Darren Bent.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England striker said the 29-year-old has had a calming influence on the Whites’ defence.
Cooper picked up a groin injury while on Scotland duty last week and returned to Thorp Arch early to be assessed.
The club confirmed he will face a late fitness test ahead of the visit of Wolves and could be out for two weeks.
Fellow defender Diego Llorente picked up a similar injury while away with Spain and will be on the sidelines for three weeks.
If Cooper does miss out it will leave Marcelo Bielsa with just Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch as his only fit senior central-defenders.
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The pair played together on the Premier League opening day and shipped four goals away to champions Liverpool as the Yorkshire against lost 4-3.
Asked by Football Insider what Cooper brought to the Leeds defence, Bent said: “He’s had a calming influence so losing him will be a bit of a killer.
“It’s hard when you get injury after injury because you can’t really do too much about it.
“It’s difficult because you can’t stop a player going away and representing your country because that’s the single biggest honour.
“In that regard for Liam Cooper, it’s difficult because he wants to go and do that.
“For Bielsa, it’s disappointing, hard but unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it.”
Cooper has played the full 90 minutes in Leeds’ last three Premier League games in which they are undefeated.
Bielsa’s side picked up seven points from a possible nine, conceded four goals and kept one clean sheet in those games.