By Anthony Onifade

15th Mar, 2023 | 9:56pm

Leeds United must reject all approaches for future club captain Robin Koch amid increasing Premier League interest

Leeds United must confidently reject all transfer approaches for Robin Koch this summer, as he holds all the hallmarks of becoming a future club captain at Elland Road.

The 25-year-old has established himself as a crucial and pivotal cog in the Leeds United first team since his move from Freiburg in 2020, enjoying key roles under Marcelo Bielsa, Jesse Marsch and now Javi Gracia.

German media outlet Sport1 reported on 6 March, that Newcastle United are keen on bringing the German international to St James’ Park this summer.

The interest from Premier League clubs certainly isn’t stopping there, with north London outfit Tottenham Hotspur also being credited with an interest in the player [Tuttomercatoweb, 15 March].

However, reporting via Twitter [8 March] Ibrahim, who is part of Sky Sports Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio’s staff, has quelled such rumours and insists the player is happy at Elland Road as the club has declined approaches for his signature.

The increasing Premier League interest in the German defender is certainly understandable considering Koch’s impressive performances for the Whites considering their lowly position in the table.

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The 26-year-old has proven a rock at the back for the Whites this season, starting 25 of their 26 league fixtures, having a hand in five clean sheets, averaging 1.5 interceptions [SofaScore], 1.6 tackles, 3.9 clearances and is only dribbled past 0.7 times per game highlighting why he is arguably the best-performing defender at Elland Road.

Koch has also impressively won 66% of his aerial duels, and 54% of his ground duels, also ranking amongst the best players in the Premier League for a few defensive metrics. He ranks seventh out of all English top-flight players for interceptions (37), eighth for clearances (103) and sixth for aerial duels won (69) [FBRef].

It’s no wonder why both Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur are desperate for his signature to strengthen their defensive weaponry.

The 26-year-old fan favourite has grown from strength to strength since his move to Elland Road and many Leeds fans can now understand why Bielsa was hell-bent on bringing him to the club.

The centre-back wasn’t a name that excited many of the Whites faithful upon his move in 2020, but he’s quietly gone on about his business to be the first choice under three different managers.

However, if Leeds know what is good for their future, they would work incredibly hard to secure the German’s future at Elland Road with the club looking to offer him a new deal, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post (page 45, 17 February).

Certainly, securing their Premier League future remains a top priority but persuading Koch that his future remains in West Yorkshire should be second on their list of priorities as he possesses all the hallmarks and characteristics of becoming a Leeds United captain in the near future.

In other Leeds United news, a star first-team player would reportedly be “very happy” to go as an audacious transfer approach is lined up from abroad.

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