German international defender Robin Koch completes £12 million Leeds move
29 Aug 2020 07:04 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Completing possibly the most important part of the jigsaw for the 2019-202 season, Leeds United have confirmed the signing of defender Robin Koch from FC Freiburg on a four-year contract for a basic fee in the region of £11.5 million plus add-ons. This seems like a bit of a steal for a player who Leipzig bid €20 million for in January, but with only ten months left on his contract and the financial implications of the Coronavirus crisis Freiburg see this as a good deal. Leeds are rumoured to have held off competition from Lazio and Newcastle United for the 24 years olds signature.
Koch started his career at his native FC Kaiserslautern and after a short spell at Eintracht Trier found himself back at Kaiserslautern in 2015 alongside Mateusz Klich who he will link up with again at Thorp Arch. Breaking into their first team for the 2016 season he played 24 Bundesliga 2 games before moving to FC Freiburg, based in the south western Baden-Württemberg region of Germany, in 2017. Koch has played 82 Bundesliga games for Freiburg, scoring four goals. The team finished eighth in the Bundesliga last season, an achievement many feel is impressive given the competition in the league and Koch’s performances in defence have been a big factor in that.
As much as the Leeds fans would have loved to have Ben White back at the club next season, this feels like it could be a step up in many ways. Much in the vein of White, Koch is a ball playing central defender who is composed, likes to bring the ball out of defence and has a good range of passing. Another factor that will please Marcelo Bielsa is that he can play the ‘No 6’ role and as such could provide cover for Kalvin Phillips in defensive midfield. Koch is also a full international having played twice for Germany since his first call up in October 2019. He will again be in Joachim Löw’s squad next week when Germany face Spain and Switzerland in the Nations League. He could even come up against new teammate Rodrigo before either even kick a ball for Leeds.
Leeds had moved quickly in this transfer window to secure their loan players for next season and strengthen the junior squads but fans had been growing concerned about the lack of first team signings with the new season just two weeks away. Now with the signings of two full internationals in Rodrigo and Koch in key positions it is a sign that Leeds don’t just intent to make up the numbers next season. The club may have been out of the topflight for 16 years but Leeds United is still a name that can attract top players and with Marcelo Bielsa selling his vision it is an opportunity most will find difficult to turn down.
Willkommen in Leeds Robin Koch!