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 Leeds will definitely look to bring in a holding midfielder in the January window, after the big news that both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have been ruled out through injury.
Koch – who would have been the cover for Kalvin Phillips in the holding mid role – is out until spring after undergoing knee surgery.
Llorente is out for two-to-three weeks with a muscle injury after playing in the game against Chelsea.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Robinson said, “I think they will try to bring someone in through the January window, I think they’ll look to strengthen.
“I think you saw when Kalvin Phillips was out injured, there are players that can play there but there’s no direct cover for him.
“With Koch out and now Llorente too, cover is even more important.
“We know how important Phillips is to the team, they’ve lost 4-1 twice while he was out.
“The formation he plays, Bielsa has one way of playing and if that doesn’t work they’ll try it again and try harder.
“That doesn’t work so well when Phillips is out. It involves a holding midfielder and if Phillips isn’t there they need to have another one, rather than saying, well who could play there?
“They’ve tried [Pascal] Struijk, they’ve tried [Mateusz] Klich, they’ve tried [Jamie] Shackleton and they just don’t have a direct replacement now that Koch is out.
“Without a doubt, it’s a position they’ll look at in the January window.”
The blow to Koch is a bigger problem for Leeds, who have a number of players who can deputies at the back, including Struijk and Luke Ayling.
The big issue is the holding midfield spot, which was Koch’s secondary position – he’s played there for Germany.
If Phillips is injured or suspended – and he’s missed three games already this season – then Leeds will have an issue.
In other Leeds United news, Bielsa confirms massive new injury as Leeds hit crisis ahead of West Ham clash