Robin Koch could leave Leeds United in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to Danny Mills, with the former Leeds United right-back claiming in a recent interview with Football Insider that, after struggling to impress when deployed at both centre-back and central midfield, Jesse Marsch could look to sign an upgrade on the 25-year-old this summer – something that could subsequently see the Germany international depart Elland Road.
Regarding Koch’s position in the Leeds squad, Mills said: “He hasn’t really found a position. He’s OK here, he’s OK there and he’s decent there. You don’t look at it and go, ‘he is playing centre-half’ or ‘he’s playing defensive midfield.’
“That is difficult for a player and also for a manager. Where does he fit in? Can the manager get somebody to do a specific job in that position who is maybe a little bit better?
“Sometimes being a utility player is great but it often means you are on the fringes. You are often second-choice in six or seven different positions.”
“The new manager will be looking to bring in two or three of his own players, players that he wants. If that means you have to get a couple out then so be it.”
While Koch is undoubtedly a player who boasts a significant amount of potential, it is undeniable that the 25-year-old has so far failed to live up to initial expectations following his £13m move to Elland Road in August 2020.
This has been particularly evident over his 14 Premier League appearances this term, in which the £15.3m-rated centre-back has made an average of 1.1 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and 2.1 clearances per game, in addition to being dribbled past 1.2 times and winning 4.1 duels – at a success rate of just 46% – per outing.
These returns have seen the £46k-per-week defender who Beren Cross dubbed both “horrible to watch” and “not good enough” earlier this season average a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.56, ranking him as the Whites’ sixth-worst player in the league.
As such, it is perhaps no surprise that Victor Orta was reported to have made a €30m (£25m) bid for Lazio centre-back Luiz Felipe in the January transfer window, nor would it be surprising for the sporting director to make a second approach for the 25-year-old at the end of the season – as he is set to leave the Stadio Olimpico upon the expiry of his contract this summer.
And, considering how impressive the defender has been in Italy in the current campaign, Luiz Felipe would very much appear to be something of a perfect candidate to replace Koch in Marsch’s side.
Indeed, over his 27 Serie A appearances this season, the £16.2m-rated Brazilian has helped his side keep five clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 1.4 tackles and 3.4 clearances per fixture, as well as being dribbled past just 0.5 times and winning 3.8 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per game.
These returns have seen the £24k-per-week defender who Jerry Mancini claimed possesses “significant pace” and labelled “quality” average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating 7.01, ranking him as Maurizio Sarri’s seventh-best player in the Italian top flight.
As such, if a deal for Luiz Felipe is there to be done this summer, it would indeed appear a wise move for Orta to launch an offensive for the Lazio centre-back – something which would subsequently allow the sporting director to move Koch onto pastures new.