So far this season, Cooper has highly impressed over his 17 Premier League appearances in the centre of defence for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, making an average of 2.7 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per match, culminating in an average WhoScored match rating of 7.07 – ranking him as the club’s second-best performer in the top flight.
However, in the club’s most recent fixture, a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, the £6.3 million-rated 29-year-old turned in his second-worst performance of the season, earning a WhoScored match rating of just 6.38 for his display against the Gunners.
He said: “Cooper was a little bit more of an issue for me. I mean, I don’t know how you guys felt about the VAR call, but I felt VAR got it wrong – I thought it was a penalty. I just thought it was an entirely unnecessary, risky, top-heavy challenge on Bukayo Saka and in the end, Arsenal got their penalty, didn’t they, but I felt they should have had a penalty there.
“I felt Cooper got away with that one, and it was one of those games where I felt Cooper did just go to ground a little bit too often. He does have those in his locker where he does love to go to ground, and he’s just a little bit too robust, a little bit too trigger-happy.”
Have you been pleased with Cooper this year?
TIF Thoughts on Beren Cross’ comments regarding Liam Cooper…
While Cross quite clearly states his belief that Cooper was defending rather recklessly in the fixture against Arsenal – personified by the defender’s challenge on Saka that was, ultimately, not deemed to be unfair – the centre-back did not actually give away a foul in the match.
However, as previously mentioned, Cooper’s performance against Arsenal was far from his best display of the season, with the form of the Leeds captain being something that will have to be improved if he wishes to help his side finish as high up the Premier League table as possible this season.