We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Paul Robinson has said that Josko Gvardiol will be a “readymade first-team player” and is the answer to Leeds’ problems at centre-back.
Leeds appear to be very close to a deal for the 18-year-old Dinamo Zagreb centre-back after Mirror journalist David Anderson claimed, “All three parties are happy with the proposed transfer. Fee will be around £18m.”
The fee seems high for an 18-year-old but Robinson said that Marcelo Bielsa will have done all the “due diligence” and that he is obviously convinced about him as a player.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said of Gvardiol, “That’s what they need. With Berardi being injured and out of contract, and Ben White not coming back from Brighton, Leeds couldn’t just go into the new season with Robin Koch and Liam Cooper.
“Gvardiol seems like the answer. If they’re going to pay £18m for a player of that age, it’s not just to come into the Under-23s or the youth team, you’re buying a readymade first-team player.
“I’ve not seen much of him but this is where clubs have their scouting systems in place and you can be sure that Bielsa will have done his due diligence on the player.
“His staff and himself will have watched the player extensively and they’re obviously totally convinced by him.
“You don’t spend that sort of money on a player unless you’re absolutely sure of him.”
Robin Koch has already signed for Leeds and has now hooked up with his new teammates at Thorp Arch after completing his international duty with Germany.
Koch came in for a short cameo at the end of the 1-1 draw with Spain to win his third cap for his country.
It’s not known yet whether he will start for Leeds on Saturday or if Bielsa will draft Luke Ayling into the centre while Koch learns his system.
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