Leeds United enjoyed a fruitful transfer window indeed, snapping up a number of players for big sums to improve the squad for Marcelo Bielsa.
Victor Orta deserves enormous credit for getting Bielsa some quality players through the door. Flair and attacking talent was signed in the form of Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, and Raphinha, while the defence was strengthened by the additions of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch.
All in all, Leeds spent in excess of £80m assembling their squad upon their Premier League return. And the start they’ve got off to suggests that the money will end up being cash well spent.
However, the two signings of Koch and Llorente bring a different level of intrigue to the table. Signed for £13m and £18m respectively, according to reports, both come to England with reputations for being excellent at their jobs.
And while that is superb news for Leeds, could it mean that over the course of the season that skipper, Liam Cooper, has to take a back seat?
Cooper a leader but could quality win out?
Nobody is questioning the impact Liam Cooper has on this Leeds team. Much like one of his closest pals in Billy Sharp at Sheffield United, the experienced campaigner knits the squad together and plays a key role. As well as that, he’s also a fine defender in his own right.
However, much like Sharp, Cooper may well see the club outgrow him and move on. The Blades striker is now down the pecking order at Bramall Lane after they invested big sums in new forwards, so it’s not totally unreasonable to suggest Cooper may suffer the same fate.
Of course, if Llorente and Kock do end up being the number one pairing for Bielsa, then don’t expect Cooper to down tools. In fact, it will be quite the opposite. The Leeds skipper is a team first man. Whatever role he has to play, he will, no doubt, do it.
But as Leeds grow and with £30m-plus spent on new central defenders, Cooper must prepare for when the time comes that he might not be Bielsa’s first-choice anymore.