Leeds United: Midfield ace Cook facing three international games in six days

Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook
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LEEDS United midfield star Lewis Cook could play three games in six days during the international break and won’t return to Thorp Arch until a week on Thursday.

Cook is away in Macedonia with Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under-19s and is one of two Whites first-teamers on international duty alongside Stuart Dallas with Northern Ireland. But whereas Northern Ireland face two European Championships qualifiers, England Under-19s will take in three Under-19s European Championship Qualifiers in six days.

All three England Under-19s games take place in the Macedonian capital of Skopje with the host nation the first opponents on Thursday in a 2pm kick-off at FFM Training Centre. England then tackle Finland on Saturday with a 2pm kick-off at Boris Trajkovski Stadium which also hosts Boothroyd’s side’s final group game against Italy on Tuesday, again for a 2pm kick-off.

England have taken just an 18-man squad to Macedonia with Cook one of just six midfielders and set to return to England a week on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old will then join up with his United team-mates at Thorp Arch on Thursday, two days before his side’s Championship hosting of leaders Brighton. Leeds must beat the Seagulls in order to avoid setting an unwanted new club record of going 11 home games without a victory.

United’s squad returned to training at Thorp Arch yesterday but without Dallas whose Northern Ireland side host Greece on Thursday and then visit Finland on Sunday, with both Euro qualifiers.

Dallas is due to fly back from Finland next Monday before linking back up with his Whites team-mates at Torp Arch the following day.

Leeds have five other players away on international duty with Charlie Horton away with the USA U-23 and Eric Grimes on duty for the Republic Of Ireland Under-21s.

Robbie McDaid is with Northern Ireland under-21s while Frank Mulhern is with the Republic Of Ireland’s Under-19s and Will Huffer with England’s under-17s.

Leeds will host a behind-closed-doors friendly at Thorp Arch on Wednesday against opposition that is yet to be made public.

United’s under-21s would normally have played on either Monday or Tuesday but they received a bye in the Premier League Cup.