By Noel Whelan

4th Mar, 2021 | 5:00pm

Whelan: Leeds 'old guard' are picking up the slack for three £69.3m stars led by Koch

The “old guard” at Leeds United have had to pick up the slack for three of the club’s stuttering summer signings.

That is according to ex-Leeds forward and lifelong fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider with Rodrigo, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch having played a collective total of just seven league matches in 2021.

Leeds spent £69.3million on the trio in the summer, with Rodrigo arriving from Valencia, Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad and Robin Koch from Freiburg.

Rodrigo and Koch are currently sidelined with respective groin and knee injuries, while Llorente has only recently returned to the starting XI after suffering his third injury of the campaign.

But 11th-place Leeds are still outstripping expectations in the league and Whelan praised the “old guard” for making up the shortfall.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “For Koch, Llorente and Rodrigo, it’s been very stop-start in their Leeds United careers so far.

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“They are three players we signed to enhance and improve our squad but it’s pretty much been the old guard.

“It’s been the Championship side which has gone out and done it this year. So massive credit has to go to them.”


One summer signing, Raphinha, has been an unqualified success since joining from Rennes in the summer.

The Brazilian has scored seven and assisted seven in 21 Whites appearances and won countless plaudits along the way.

In other news, a top pundit says Diego Llorente will have been slated for his theatrics in Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa.