Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Mike Cooper made his 10th appearance in a Plymouth shirt last night and impressed as the Pilgrims lost 1-0 to Chelsea U21s in the Leasing.com trophy.
Cooper is the second choice keeper at Plymouth and is learning every day as he continues to impress manager Ryan Lowe with his shot-stopping abilities, a big factor in keeping the score down yesterday as Cooper denied Chelsea striker Charlie Brown on three seperate occasions.
For the former Plymouth College student, Cooper has had to adapt to Lowe’s way of playing this season, a possession-based style of play with him having to be good with his feet to help Plymouth keep the ball instead of kicking it up the field towards the strikers.
Lowe makes sure that both of his keepers are good with their feet, his first-choice being West Bromwich Albion loanee Alex Palmer, and he earmarked Cooper out for having a future at the very top following the defeat to Chelsea.
With Palmer only being a loanee and Cooper continuing to take his chances, with Lowe also appearing to be a big fan of his young keeper, the only way could be up for Cooper with a chance at being first-choice keeper on the horizon for the next season.
Lowe clearly felt as if giving Cooper an opportunity to be first-choice this season was too soon for the youngster, who has been getting some good experience at a young age in and around the Pilgrims first-team squad.
Has Cooper got a future as Plymouth's first-choice keeper?
However, with the way that Lowe talks up Cooper in his post-match press conference and the four games that he’s given him already this season, Cooper will have the right to take heart from his manager’s words.
If the 20 year-old shot stopper can keep on improving his game and get better with his feet as well as learn from first-choice Palmer, then there’s no reason why Cooper can’t force himself more predominantly into the first-team picture for season 2020-2021.
Cooper has to take every opportunity that Lowe throws his way this season as the first-choice keeper spot still isn’t permanent, with Palmer not confirmed to be around for next season.