Leeds United defender Robin Koch had a night to forget on Tuesday as he featured in Germany’s 6-0 defeat at the hands of Spain in the Nations League.
The 24-year-old has come in for some criticism in recent weeks, making errors against Leicester and Crystal Palace as the Whites suffered back-to-back defeats before the international break.
To his credit, Koch performed admirably in last week’s 3-1 win over Ukraine after being given a chance in holding midfield as Joachim Low opted for a 4-3-3.
The Elland Road man was then switched back to his usual centre-back position for the meeting with La Roja, a game in which the 2014 champions thoroughly disappointed.
Spain were rampant, weighing in with 23 shots, 10 of which were on goal, and enjoyed 70 percent possession, the kind of stats you’d see a big team tally up against minnows.
Germany, in comparison, could only muster up two efforts, neither of which were on target, so it was far from just being a calamity just at the back.
“Koch had a really poor game in defence for Germany,” wrote Sportskeeda, who rated him 3 out of 10 – one of four Germans to get 3 or less on the night.
“He was caught between trying to stay deep and holding a compact line, and being aggressive in the tackle.
“Ultimately, he did neither, and got picked off by some excellent Spanish attacking moves.”
While Koch wasn’t the worst performer on the night by any means – Ilkay Gundogan got 2 out of 10 – it was still a worrying display by a player who’s come under a fair bit of scrutiny in recent weeks.
He has played every minute of Leeds’ Premier League campaign so far, and the likelihood is his place in the starting XI is assured until January at least.
However, if things don’t improve for Koch at centre-back, Marcelo Bielsa could well consider delving into the market again to bolster his defensive ranks.
That said, Koch’s impressive performance as a defensive midfielder could also give Bielsa food for thought – he could be a good shout there at club level if Kalvin Phillips is out or needs a rest.
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