Leeds United

Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed Robin Koch is now the fourth-choice centre-back at Leeds United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England striker insisted the Germany international is set for an extended period on the bench.

Koch has not started a game for the Whites since suffering a knee injury against Chelsea last December.

Diego Llorente has since emerged as a key defender for the Whites and has been partnered by Pascal Struijk in the last two games with Liam Cooper suspended.

Football Insider understands Marcelo Bielsa privately fears Koch is “too soft” for the Premier League despite his clear quality.

Publicly, the Argentinian told the Yorkshire Evening Post the 24-year-old’s early form was a “high point of our season”.

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However, since his return from his serious injury in March he has instead been utilised as a midfielder from the bench.

Asked for his assessment of Bielsa’s dilemma now all four of his centre-backs are fit, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “There’s some good competition now at the back.

“Liam Cooper, as captain, you expect him to come back alongside Llorente and Struijk looks like the third-choice.

“Maybe Koch will have to wait his turn and just be on the bench.

“Definitely some good competition for Leeds at the back.”

Speaking ahead of his side’s game against Brighton Bielsa revealed he sees Koch as a defensive midfielder and centre-back.

He explained: “He is excellent option in whichever of those two positions. He’a already played very well as a centre-back and he can play well as a defensive midfielder also.”

In other news, Noel Whelan has been left in awe of a “phenomenal” 21-year-old Marcelo Bielsa was “wrong” about at Leeds United.