Liam Cooper aiding perfect education for Leeds United loan star Ben White

BEN WHITE says Leeds United captain Liam Cooper is playing an important part in his development with the Brighton loanee honing in on communication and leadership skills.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 1:50 pm
BIG INFLUENCE: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Brighton loanee White has played every single minute of all 14 of United’s league games so far with the 22-year-old and 28-year-old skipper Cooper forming a formidable partnership at the heart of the United defence.

Leeds have the best defensive record in the Championship and White says he is learning plenty from United’s 28-year-old captain and Scotland international Cooper who returned to the team following a groin injury as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

“Obviously he’s a great role model for me to play alongside,” said White.

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DREAM TEAM: Ben White looks on as Liam Cooper challenges Swansea City's Borja Baston. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“I’m just picking up little bits of communication because he’s a leader.

“I’m picking up loads of little details that he does naturally so for me it’s just picking that up.”

Reflecting on Cooper’s return to the side at Hillsborough - but also the influence of Cooper’s replacement Gaetano Berardi - White added: “It was nice to have him back and Berra was solid as always so it was good.”

As White played the full 90 minutes of Saturday’s clash at Hillsborough, Cooper made his return following a three game absence when coming on as a 76th-minute substitute for Helder Costa.

Cooper then played 45 minutes for United’s under-23s on Monday evening in a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley, taking a knock before coming off at half-time.

Leeds - who sit third - now have back to back home games against eighth-placed QPR and 17th-placed Blackburn Rovers on the horizon and White admits six points are important following back to back draws at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday.

“That’s what we’re looking for obviously,” said White. “Before a game we want the three points so that’s what we’ll be aiming for.”

QPR, beaten 3-1 at home to Brentford on Monday, visit Leeds on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off.