What can Leeds United expect from this summers new signings
06 Oct 2020 09:13 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Victor Orta and his team at Elland Road and across Europe have been busy this summer with thirteen players incoming. First up Helder Costa and Illan Meslier were secured on permanent deals before Jack Harrisons loan from Manchester City was extended for a third season. We’ve also seen a number of signings for the future including Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Allen, Cody Drameh, Dani van den Heuvel, Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville who are sure to excite for the Under 23s in Premier League 2 this season.
But the headlines have all been taken by the four key first team singings, the ones who will take Marcelo Bielsa’s side to the next level. Leeds caught the eye after their opening day performance at Anfield but after strengthening further trusted betting sites will be backing them to do even better. If you check out online betting sites reviews such as those at https://askbettors.com/ you’ll find the best sites to tip Leeds United for a top ten finish. We’ve already seen a couple of this summers big money signings wear the white shirt of Leeds but what can we expect from our summer signings this season?
Robin Koch (£13 Million from FC Freiburg)
Completing possibly the most important part of the jigsaw for the 2019-202 season, Leeds United confirmed the signing of defender Robin Koch from FC Freiburg on a four-year contract for a basic fee in the region of £13 million. Given his performances so far, this seems like a bit of a steal for a player who Leipzig bid €20 million for in January. Koch who is assured on the ball and good in the air has already slotted into the Leeds United defence well alongside Liam Cooper and Luke Ayling. Who needs Ben White anyway?
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.
Rodrigo (£27 Million from Valencia)
Leeds United broke their transfer record this summer to bring in Spanish striker Rodrigo Moreno Machado in their first marquee signing of the summer. Rodrigo became Leeds United's most expensive signing, breaking the record set by Rio Ferdinand who signed back in 2000 for £18 million. The striker spent six years at the Mestalla, scoring 59 goals in 220 appearances, making 41 assists. Last seasons tally saw him chalk up 7 goals and 11 assists in 34 appearances including a few goals and assists in the Champions League. He even scored the winner against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea back in the group stages.
Spanish football journalist Guillem Balagué describes him as a modern forward who can play up front or wide right, create and work large spaces, is quick, has a good work rate and presses hard. Clearly not a goal hanging number 9 but a highly rated player who sounds perfect for a Marcelo Bielsa side. He has also been Spain boss Luis Enrique's go to man in the Euro Qualifiers, scoring 4 goals. In total he has 8 goals in 23 appearances for Spain. We’ve already seen glimpses of what he can do, changing the game against Manchester City last weekend. He scored his first goal for Leeds but was unlucky not to come away with another.
Diego Llorente (£18 Million from Real Sociedad)
Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has said Llorente is a very athletic centre back can also play as a full back and defensive midfielder. He has quality with his feet but has struggled a bit as he played left of the two centre backs this season and had a muscle problem in January. He perhaps risks too much and produces a mistake or two, but he is a top player, considered on his best form one of top 5-6 Spanish centre backs. Fantastic with long passing and comfortable with short. Clever and brave anticipating, but perhaps needs to be stronger in 50-50s. Good in set pieces both defending and attacking (scores goals). He has good pace and will need it to defend the big spaces Leeds create behind defenders.
The singing of Diego Llorente will provide more depth in an area Leeds are short on but will also provide Marcelo Bielsa with more options in terms of formation. The possibility of playing three at the back, as he famously did with Chilli and Argentina, would mean an extra man in midfield and potentially more opportunities for Rodrigo to come into the team. It could also address some of the concerns raised over the first two games of the season, with Leeds shipping 7 goals. We are yet to see Llorente in the white shirt of Leeds but could he slot into a back three in the place of Luke Ayling?
Raphinha (£15 Million from Stade Rennais)
Deadline day saw the exciting signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Stade Rennais, in a move which looks to have upset the Rennes fans. Always a good sign! The exciting winger, who will wear the number 18 shirt will provide real competition for the likes of Harrison, Costa and Poveda. Not only does the Brazilian have the pace and skill to upset many top flight defenders, but will track back and has shown a real flair for tackling, something missing, especially from Costa. The attacker plays on the right wing primarily but is comfortable across the attack providing a variety of options for Marcelo Bielsa.
Raphinha impressed for Rennes after joining from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2019 and helped the French side to a top-four finish last season. In his debut season in France, the striker scored nine goals and assisted five others in 34 appearances. He has started this season brightly too, laying on two goals in five Ligue 1 outings. The Brazilian had made a strong start to the Ligue 1 campaign too, registering two assists and a goal for Rennes, who are top of Ligue 1 with 14 points from their opening six matches. Given the international break to get up to speed it may not be too long before we see Raphinha , he could make his debut against Wolves at Elland Road in just under two weeks time.