Germany manager Joachim Low has hailed Robin Koch after the Leeds United defender starred in his nation’s 3-1 win over Ukraine on Saturday.
Koch, 24, played all 90 minutes of Germany’s UEFA Nations League win as a holding midfielder – a role he is yet to play for Leeds despite Kalvin Phillips’ injury.
Speaking after the match, Low explained why he named Koch to play in his midfield and also delivered his overall verdict on Germany’s win.
“Everyone saw that Ukraine can play. In the first half, we set a high tempo and had the game under control, in the second weren’t quite so determined and lost the ball a few times.
“Overall, I think we can be satisfied.
“We had to replace a few players, but we were still able to find our rhythm.
“We brought tempo and a threat to the game with our three quick forwards, who kept our opponents busy all game.
“In defence, we tried to break down Ukraine’s passing channels early, which is why we tested Robin Koch in the middle. He did a good job.”
One of the reasons why Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta signed Koch is his versaility.
Bielsa likes to have players who can feature in multiple positions and last season at Freiburg, Koch was deployed as both a centre-back and a defensive midfielder.
Leeds always needed a new centre-back in the summer after Ben White returned to Brighton but a new holding midfielder would have also been required due to Adam Forshaw’s long-term injury issue and the fact Phillips regular suffers from niggling injuries and suspensions.
Phillips is currently out with a shoulder injury but Koch is yet to play in the midfield due to him being needed at centre-back with Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente both having injuries this season.
We imagine that if Llorente is fit, it would be the Spaniard and Cooper at centre-back with Koch ahead of them in the Phillips role.
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