Pundit tips Bielsa to recall Cooper and axe Leeds youngster v Tottenham after cryptic claim
Alan Hutton has tipped Marcelo Bielsa to bring Liam Cooper back into the Leeds United starting XI against Tottenham.
The former Aston Villa star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Argentine manager would be willing to axe someone to restore his captain to the side.
Speaking about Cooper’s return at Thursday’s press conference [10:35], Bielsa cryptically stated there were a number of factors to consider before making a decision.
Cooper has missed the Whites’ last three games since being sent off in the 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Pascal Struijk stepped into the void at the Etihad and has played every minute in the club captain’s absence.
However, Leeds head into Saturday’s game off the back of a 2-0 defeat away at Brighton.
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Hutton admitted he expected Cooper to return to the starting XI for Spurs’ visit to Elland Road.
Asked if thought the 29-year-old would step back into the side, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Well he’s the captain, isn’t he? Normally, that’s the case they do come in.
“You usually find after a defeat, that’s when the changes happen. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came back in. They have been much better defensively, I must add. Off the back of a poor performance but they’ll be looking to put that right.
“Obviously, I want to see him playing and playing well because of Scotland. I think at the back is where Scotland need players and he can be a rock for them.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he came in. I’m actually looking forward to this game because there could be goals in it, especially if Tottenham continue to play the way they are at the moment.”
Both Cooper and Struijk have played 23 times in the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, Diego Llorente has started Leeds’ last 10 league games after his injury problems.