Former Leeds United striker, Noel Whelan, has stated that Marcelo Bielsa has made Liam Cooper a much better player since taking over at the club.
Cooper was part of the Scotland squad for their games against Belgium and Russia this week, but will be left disappointed with the results.
The 28-year-old started both fixtures but the Tartan Army were left with two defeats, with the Belgium fixture particularly discouraging with Steve Clarke’s side conceding four times.
However, Whelan has expressed that the player has improved tremendously since Bielsa came in, and has shown how key he is to the Whites.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “He did okay under other managers, but Bielsa has definitely made him a better player.
“Bielsa has educated him how to be a top centre-back in terms of his positioning, decision-making and how to prepare properly.
“You can see the difference over the last year. Liam Cooper used to have a good game and then following it with a bad one. Now, he is consistent and one of the best players in his position in the Championship.
“There are so many areas where Bielsa has improved Cooper and he is now brilliant at what he does – dominating in the air, intercepting, reading the game and playing out from the back.
“He can still get better, of course. They all can. And I expect that to happen while Bielsa remains the manager.”
Cooper has been a crucial part of Leeds’ fight at the top end of the table for the last year. He has improved in a lot of aspects of his game, and still looks a good centre-back despite talented partner, Pontus Jansson, leaving.
The Scottish international is a very consistent part of Bielsa’s team, and Whelan suggests that while the Argentine is manager of the club, he’ll continue to get better.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Cooper can guide Leeds to promotion and become a hero at the Yorkshire club.