Leeds United To Face A Transfer Battle With Benfica For German Defender: A Good Signing For Bielsa?

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 18: Robin Koch (L) of Germany looks on during a training session at Commerzbank Arena on November 18, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Germany will play a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match against Northern Ireland on November 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Bongarts/Getty Images)

According to a report from Portuguese media outlet Record, Benfica have entered the race to sign German centre back Robin Koch. Leeds United had been linked with him in the past few weeks according to the reports from Leeds Live. Benfica are now set to make a move for the player in the summer.

A Bola suggests that Benfica would try to lure the defender by offering Freiburg £15m in the summer. Koch has already represented the German national team twice. The 23-year-old is being seen as a significant talent and is the mainstay in defence for his side in the Bundesliga.

Why would Leeds United need centre backs?

It is no surprise that Leeds United are already being linked with defenders for the next summer. The club might end up having just one outright centre back by the upcoming summer. Ben White is on loan, and the Whites are likely to find it hard to keep him at Elland Road after his impressive performances.

Gaetano Berardi is in the final few months of his contract with the club. There are no indications yet on whether he would be given an extension or not. Hence, that would leave the Whites with Liam Cooper as the only centre back.

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 16: Robin Koch of Germany runs with the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Germany and Belarus on November 16, 2019, in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Leeds United’s transfer plans are likely going to depend on which division they would be playing in the next season. Koch being a German international and a top-flight player would be unlikely to take a step down to the Championship level. The Whites will also find it hard to match his valuation in the transfer market. Moreover, with a club like Benfica now involved, Leeds United’s task could be cut out. Benfica can offer Champions League or Europa League football to Koch, and even if the Whites get promoted, they might find it hard to lure the defender.

Will Koch be a good signing?

Koch stands in at 6ft3 and is understandably a dominant force in the air. United have struggled to defend set-pieces, and one of their major weaknesses has been defending aerial threats. Hence, Koch will be an excellent addition on that front.

The defender is known for reading the game well, which allows him to make clean challenges and tackles. The 23-year-old also showcases impressive quality with the ball at his feet. He would undoubtedly be a top addition to Leeds United’s backline. Moreover, he is still just 23, so his best years are yet to come.

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