Leeds United captain Liam Cooper had some choice words for his teammates following relegation from the Premier League. The Whites were eventually dropped from the top division following a disappointing 2022/23 campaign. Cooper and company lost to Tottenham, 4-1, on the final day of the season to seal their destiny.
“After the Tottenham game last year when our fate was decided I was one to speak up in the changing room and I made it clear, if you don’t want to be here next season – I won’t repeat what I said, it was one of those,” proclaimed Cooper.
The club captain did not want to say his exact words to teammates. However, Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Graham Smyth revealed the quotes on Twitter. Cooper allegedly told his teammates “If you don’t want to be here then f— off.”
“That’s the way it’s got to be,” continued Cooper. “To play for this club you’ve got to invest in it, you’ve got to give your life for it and certainly those in the stands won’t accept anything else apart from that. That was the message and the message is still the same. We need players who are invested.”
Multiple first-team stars have already departed team
The West Yorkshire club has already parted ways with first-team players Rodrigo, Adam Forshaw, and Joel Robles. Along with the trio of permanent transfers, Leeds also loaned out a series of first-term regulars. For example, Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Marc Roca and USMNT midfielder Brenden Aaronson are on the way out.
The American will return to the Champions League with German side Union Berlin. Weston McKennie, Aaronson’s American teammate, also exited the club after spending last season on loan from Juventus. Center back Max Wober is expected to leave on loan as well.
Leeds captain claims current group is committed to the club
Nevertheless, Cooper has now claimed that the current group at the club is now ready to fight back to the Premier League. “We’ve got a group of players now committed to the goal,” Cooper continued. “We know what’s expected of us, we know the expectations of the club and we’ve got to go embrace that and hit it head on.”
“We all know what the Championship demands of each other, how committed you need to be and how hard it’s going to be to get out of it. Anybody who thinks it’s going to be a walk in the park or stroll then they’ve got a big shock coming. So that’s the message to the boys.”
Leeds has one more preseason friendly on the schedule before heading into the 2023/24 Championship season. The Whites will host Cardiff City on matchday one of the competition on Aug. 6.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo