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Wolves target Robin Koch eclipses all other linked centre-backs this January

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ season is probably going better than expected given the doubts many had over whether or not they could cope with the added demands that a Europa League qualification and subsequent group stage would bring.

The west Midlanders currently sit sixth in the Premier League table and have even advanced into the knockout stages despite sticking with a small tight-knit squad.

Although, that attitude could be about to soon change as manager Nuno Santo revealed his intentions to strengthen his side in the January transfer window.

He didn’t mention any specifics or much else on top of that, but Birmingham Live believe the club have central targets in both defence and in midfield high on their priority list.

Freiburg centre-back Robin Koch, Preston North End’s Ben Davies and Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes have all been linked with a switch to Molineux next month – but which is the better option?

Given Nuno’s system of playing three-at-the-back which has an emphasis on ones ability to play out from the back and start quick counter-attacks, it would be wise to centre the focus around similar statistics.

Of all three players, Koch has the highest passing success rate of any at 85.1%, which also surpasses any defender in the Wolves squad.

Who should Wolves sign?

Robin Koch

Robin Koch

Gabriel Magalhaes

Gabriel Magalhaes

Ben Davies

Ben Davies

The German also averages more long balls per game (4.9) too.

In terms of defensive qualities, Davies is a cut above, averaging 4.4 clearances while conceding just 0.3 fouls per game. Gabriel tops the chart for tackles per match at 1.6.

Koch’s ability to play defensive midfield may swing things in his favour too. He’s been compared to Javi Martinez in the past, who similarly made the transition from a number eight to a number six over his career.

He’s described as an ‘enforcer’ that has a ‘tremendous willingness to get stuck in and get his hands dirty’ by the Bundesliga official website, who also note his ‘engine’ and ability to put in tackles.

Valued at just £9m by Transfermarkt, he could well be the one for Nuno next month.

Meanwhile, fans have been debating the potential exit of Patrick Cutrone…

Article title: Wolves target Robin Koch eclipses all other linked centre-backs this January

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