The Athletic’s Phil Hay wants Robin Koch to be starting at centre-back so that Maximilian Wober can play on the left for Leeds United moving forward.
The Lowdown: On-field changes now needed
Leeds have taken the first step to make changes at Elland Road to ensure they secure their spot in the Premier League for next season by sacking Jesse Marsch.
However, things on the pitch have to be addressed by whoever the next manager to walk through the door is to replace the American. This includes the defence, which is performing much worse than they should be compared to their expected goals against (xGA) total (as per FBref).
One thing that looked to have been addressed last month was the left-back situation, with Pascal Struijk deployed there until the January signing of Wober.
However, his arrival has done little to improve their fortunes at the back. Indeed, he has been slotted into centre-back instead of left-back – where he had been playing for RB Salzburg this campaign.
The Latest: Koch has to return
Something Hay wants to see addressed quickly is getting Germany international Koch back in at centre-back in order for Wober to take up a role at left-back.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, he said: “They’ll be helped by Robin Koch coming back, which might allow Wober to play at left-back – which to my mind, would be no bad thing and probably needs to be done.”
The Verdict: Round pegs have to go in round holes
If Leeds want to have a fighting chance against the drop this season, they have to be playing players in their most-suited positions – even if that means dropping others from the side.
Therefore, if Koch is available, he should go straight in at centre-back alongside either Liam Cooper or Struijk and take the Dutch youngster out of the firing line, as it has been an experiment that’s failed miserably.
Leeds currently have two more conventional left-backs on their books in the form of Wober and Junior Firpo, so there is no need to be playing a 6ft 3in centre-back there and making the team unnecessarily lopsided.