Leeds United will be delighted to get Robin Koch and Diego Llorente playing together at last.
That is according to ex-Leeds United forward and lifelong fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after The Athletic‘s Phil Hay revealed that the German defender is expected to return to training this week.
Leeds signed the 24-year-old for £13million from Freiburg in the summer but he has not played since the start of December since suffering a knee injury.
Fellow centre-back and summer signing Diego Llorente has featured just four times in 2020-21 and only recently returned from a third injury of the season.
Whelan is giddy at the prospect of having the two signings in the team together simultaneously for the first time.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “We’ve complained for long enough about not having two fit first-choice centre-halves. We still don’t really know who is our best partnership.
“Now, we’ve got four to choose from. At the back end of the season, we’re going to need everybody. It’s going to be a long, hard end to the season.
“We’ve got some really difficult games coming up against the likes of Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool. We’re going to need to see what we’ve got in our locker and what we’ve got for next season as well.
“It’s exciting and it’s good to get these new signings back because we’ve not seen enough of them, that’s for sure. It might put a bit of pressure on Liam Cooper and Struijk at the back there as well.”
Leeds have generally deployed Liam Cooper and Pascal Sruijk at centre-half in the absence of both Llorente and Koch.
The likes of Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips, both unnatural centre-halves, have also filled in when required.