After years of despair, pain and anguish, Leeds United might finally secure a Premier League return this term unless a drastic downfall occurs when the season resumes. The wait might have prolonged due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, but the Whites must start identifying new names for the exciting time ahead.
Marcelo Bielsa has formed a formidable force that is flexible, hard-working and determined to deliver at the highest level. Yet they need some high-profile inclusions to meet the grind and demand of the English top tier. The scouts are in attendance across the continent to monitor a plethora of talents and Victor Orta, Leeds United’s director of football, highlighted one name in January while speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
A Blow For Leeds United?
Leeds have been after Freiburg’s Robin Koch to bolster the backline, but Orta admitted the difficulty of bringing him in a Championship side considering the centre-half’s exquisite form in the Bundesliga. While a promotion might smoothen the talks before the upcoming term, the latest reports from Germany are not particularly encouraging for the West Yorkshire giants.
According to Kicker, the 23-year-old Die Mannschaft international is aiming for Champions League football next season which Leeds won’t be able to offer, and the interest from the Portuguese heavyweights Benfica (A Bola has claimed) seems to be more realistic as of now if the reports are believed to be accurate.
Koch, rated highly back in Germany, is often compared with Javi Martinez for his ability to feature in the heart of the backline as well as deep down the midfield similar to the Bayern Munich veteran. Freiburg have been in the hunt for a Europa League berth before the season got suspended and the in-form centre-back has been key to their recent success with a towering presence in the deep defence.
Why The Whites Require Defensive Reinforcements In Summer
The 6 ft 3 in defender is valued at around £15m, a price quite affordable in the English top tier. The Whites currently have Ben White and Liam Cooper as the only central defensive options with Gaetano Berardi and Kalvin Phillips featuring as makeshifts to deal with the crisis. Pascal Struijk and Oliver Casey are too young to deliver in the Premier League whereas White, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, has already got an array of admirers (including Liverpool and Arsenal) for his impressive run.
Leeds United, therefore, must undergo a busy summer in terms of incomings and strengthen several areas to avoid a relegation scare next year.
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