Shropshire Star

Liam Cooper: Leeds are embarking on a new era under Jesse Marsch

The Whites skipper is confident the club will be pushing for a top-half finish this season.


Leeds captain Liam Cooper feels the club are embarking on a new era as they prepare for their third season in the Premier League.

Jesse Marsch completed his fourth summer signing with the arrival of teenage midfielder Darko Gyabi on Monday, shortly after confirming Kalvin Phillips had completed his switch to Manchester City.

Raphinha remains hopeful of sealing a move to Barcelona, while Marsch wants to add three more players to his squad following the earlier arrivals of Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca.

Cooper, among the club’s international players who reported back for pre-season testing at Leeds Beckett University, said: “It does (feel like a new era) yes.

“You could say the club’s going to rebuild. I think Jesse has got his own ideas.

“Jesse’s come in and he does like to play the 4-2-2-2 and it does work for us, maybe we didn’t have the right players at times to do that, but he’s brought in top quality players.

“Jesse’s brilliant at what he does and is a great coach and I’m sure he’ll drill those ideas into us and come the start of the season we’ll know exactly what we’re going to do.

“He’ll be the first to tell you we didn’t quite produce what he wanted at the end of last season, but I think that was a result of the situation we were in.”

Scotland defender Cooper posted a good luck message to Phillips on Twitter after his £45million move to City was finalised, but insisted it was time to look forward after last season’s relegation scare.

“Our self-belief took a knock at times last season,” Cooper said. “You always question yourself and it was difficult. It was a stressful season, but that’s gone now.

“We’ve got to be optimistic now and we’ve got to go and aim as high as we can.

“I think, going off our first season, obviously last season was a struggle, it was difficult, but our first season we finished ninth and I think we’ve definitely got to aim for top half.”

Raphinha is holding out for his dream move to Barca after Chelsea were reported to have had a £60m offer for the Brazil winger accepted.

The cash-strapped Spanish giants have yet to raise sufficient funds, but if Raphinha does leave Elland Road, Leeds aim to draft in three more new players.

The PA news agency understands two deals could be completed before Leeds head to Australia on Sunday for a three-game mini tour.

Holding midfielders Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig) and Mohamed Camara (RB Salzburg) are both on the Whites’ list of targets, together with Brugge striker Charles De Ketelaere.

Leeds kickstart their pre-season fixture programme at York on Thursday night and then head Down Under, where they will play Brisbane Roar (July 14), Aston Villa (July 17) and Crystal Palace (July 22).

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