Robin Koch makes Leeds United claim amid continued Premier League adjustment

Robin Koch believes he is well on the way to reaching his top level at Leeds United.

By Joe Urquhart
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 5:25 pm

The 25-year-old has endured a stop-start beginning to his Elland Road career following his arrival to West Yorkshire from the Bundesliga 18 months ago.

Koch has struggled to establish himself as a first team regular due to a succession of injuries that have limited appearances, his most recent hip problem seeing him sidelined for over four months at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign.

He has, though, provided a boost to head coach Marcelo Bielsa's first team ranks in the last month amid the ongoing injury crisis in LS11.

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Leeds United defender Robin Koch. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

The German international has featured in the last five matches across all competitions, settling into a defensive midfield role in the absence of influential England international Kalvin Phillips.

Koch has brought an element of calm to the Whites amid the chaos of Premier League football, something he says he is still getting used to with each passing week.

"The intensity is different, the players are stronger, physically faster," Koch told BILD, over the difference between England and Germany's premier competitions.

"My opponents are more robust, so you have to be wide awake every second. As a defender, you will automatically develop both athletically and on the pitch if you play against a top team with world-class players every week.

"I was also able to develop in the game with the ball, the coach [Bielsa] and his style of play have a great influence on this. In addition to training at Leeds United, I put in a lot of extra shifts at home to be physically fit."

Koch played a key role against Burnley earlier this month to help Leeds earn a crucial three points in the ongoing top flight relegation battle.

Bielsa's men are currently in 15th place amid the break from on-pitch action, sitting seven points above the drop zone after 21 games.

"It was one of my first matches at a full Elland Road and it was an extremely important win for us," Koch reflected on the Clarets clash.

"[It was] a wonderful start to the new year. I was the happiest person in the stadium. Fighting 90 minutes with my teammates at Elland Road without any problems – that was really fun.

"I'm feeling really good again and I'm on my way back to my top level. The year 2021 was a real challenge for me. In 2022 I want to attack, present myself in the best possible way, help the team and achieve as much as possible."