Leeds United Receive Major Boost In Pursuit Of Bundesliga Star: Why Bielsa Must Make A Move

DORTMUND, GERMANY - OCTOBER 09: Robin Koch of Germany is seen during the International Friendly between Germany and Argentina at Signal Iduna Park on October 09, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

According to SportBild, as cited by Yorkshire Evening Post, SC Freiburg star Robin Koch is open to leaving the Bundesliga outfit in the summer. Leeds United are among the clubs linked with a move for the German defender, who is apparently ready to take the next step in his career. Koch is said to be valued at around €18 million.

Analysing Leeds United’s defensive unit

Leeds United have been by far the best team in the Championship this season. They have fared exceptionally well, especially in the defensive side of the game. The fact that they have conceded only 30 goals means they boast the best defensive record in the league.

However, the Whites must make reinforcements in the defensive department if they are to survive the rigours of the Premier League next season. Their existing defensive options include Gaetano Berardi, Ben White and captain Liam Cooper.

Berardi’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the Swiss ace is unlikely to renew his contract anytime soon. White, too, is expected to return to Brighton & Hove Albion following the end of his current loan spell, leaving Cooper as the only central defensive option for Bielsa.

That means the Argentine mastermind needs to make at least two new defensive acquisitions to revamp his options next season. And securing the services of Koch, in that regard, could be a step in the right direction.

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)

What can Koch offer to the table?

Koch has emerged as one of Bundesliga’s most promising defenders within the past couple of years. He has flourished under the leadership of Christian Streich at SC Freiburg. In fact, his contributions in defence were critical behind the club’s tremendous start to the 2019/20 campaign.

Koch is primarily known for his tall 1.92m frame that gives him a considerable advantage in the air. Only Wout Weghorst and Sebastian Andersson have won more headed duels than the Freiburg star in the Bundesliga this season. His tall frame also allows him to provide a significant threat from set-pieces.

Another feature of Koch’s gameplay is his versatility. Even though he is a centre-back by trade, the German international can operate as a holding midfielder. It could offer Bielsa with a reliable alternative to Kalvin Phillips in the number six role, which is an essential part of the Argentine’s tactical setup.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not Koch will be interested in moving to Leeds United next season. A lot could depend on whether or not the Whites gain promotion. They are firmly in control of their destiny for the time being, but the Coronavirus crisis could potentially force the authority to deem the season null and void.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.