5 Things Leeds Need To Know About New Signing Liam Cooper

Big, bold and hard: say hello to your new centrehalf...
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Big, bold and hard: say hello to your new centrehalf...

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So... Cellino and Hockaday have finally scribbled down enough zeros on that crumpled post-it note to convince Chesterfield to part with one of our star players, Liam Cooper, according to SkySports.

The fee? Somewhere between seven and eight hundred thousand, is what's being reported at this end - possibly with a sell-on clause.

At 22, the defender has years ahead of him, but plays like a bloke 10 years older. He's been bossing the bottom tier for the last 18 months, and it was only a matter of time before someone snapped him up.

Here's five things that Leeds fans need to know about their new signing:

Yorkshire Born and Bred

Listen to his interviews and you don't have to be a genius to work it out - this kid is more Yorkshire than scraps on a bread cake. He calls a shovel a shovel, and that's something that, as a fan, you want your players to do.

It's a cliché, but he is a captain marvel in the making - and if we hadn't re-signed local hero Ian Evatt last season, he probably would've had the armband on a permanent basis. It's perhaps no coincidence that he was wheeled out in front of the cameras after the two worst performances of last season - a January thrashing by Southend, and a 3-1 drubbing my Accrington Stanley (yep, we now know who they are) in March.

But don't let the accent fool you - he has played for Scotland at youth level - appearing for the U17s in the 2008 European Championships, and the U19s in a 3-1 loss against Iceland a year later. Who knows, after a decent half a season in white, he might have Gordon Strachan casting flirty glances in his direction once again.

Goals

He's just under six foot, but he's a real threat in the air - and he'll chip in with a few goals too. He's notched on in every 14 outings during his time at the Proact, which let's face it, ain't bad for a centre half. His three or four goals a season could be a key contribution. Check out this footage of him scoring front post glancers against Fleetwood and Cheltenham last season.

Versatility

Make no mistake: Coops is a centre-half. A proper, left-footed centre-half. A rare thing these days.

And he can also put in a shift at left back - as he had to last year during our annual post-Xmas injury crisis. He's not the fastest though, and at times his lack of pace can be exposed a little bit - particularly if he's the last man.

A couple of times last year he was caught dangling a leg by trickier players, and was sent on early bath-running duty. Luckily, these moments are few and far between, particularly if he's paired with a pacey partner.

Tough as nails

Coops is as hard as they come - Paul Cook calls him our "tough guy" centre half - and when you consider that he spent last season playing at the side of brick s***house Evatt, that means he knows how to handle himself on the pitch.

Sometimes though, his willingness to throw himself under the bus for the team means that he gets a bad knock or two. Last season, he missed the first three games of the season, he was back on the treatment table at Christmas, and he missed the final, title-winning game of the campaign too.

But don't get me wrong - he's not a thick-headed hoofer. He's confident with the ball, happy to go head up and bring it out from the back, and always looking for a killer pass.

Boots and tats

He might be an old-fashioned, hard number six, but don't worry, modern football fans: Coops has all of the pre-requisites of a 21st century baller.

Tattoos? Check. Garish boot collection? Check. Social media? Yep - check him out at @LiamCooper__ on Twitter, and @LiamCooper6 on Instagram.