Despite being injured for much of his early Leeds United career, Robin Koch has certainly imposed himself on the supporters at Elland Road. He has become a reliable player in the Whites squad and continues to show his quality, even when played out of position.
The Germany international has played in a wide variety of roles in his 37 Premier League appearances with very few of those games coming in the center-back position he was brought to the club to play in. Many Leeds fans are hopeful that he will reprise the role at the heart of the defense as they feel, at his best, that he is the stand-out central defender in the squad.
While Koch will also be hoping for a long-term return to center-back, he will be putting more focus into enjoying an injury-free season. After playing his first Premier League campaign in front of empty stadiums, the prospect of playing at a packed Elland Road – as he sampled this term – is something that certainly excites the 25-year-old.
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He was asked by Soccer Bible about what he thinks to the intense atmosphere inside the stadium on matchday, he replied: “Of course, you notice it much more in the stadium. The fans are cheering from all sides. The atmosphere is just incredible at Elland Road.
“I had to wait a long time for my first game in front of fans because of Corona, but it was definitely worth the wait. That was also after my injury when I came back. It was a great feeling, pure goosebumps. ”
He has taken to life in a new country, and a new city, brilliantly since making the move from Freiburg ahead of Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League. The impact of the Covid-19-induced lockdowns and restrictions cannot be underestimated but Koch admitted that the welcome of everyone at the club helped him settle into a new way of living.
“The club is just so special because it feels like it brings everyone together,” he said. “The players, the people in the city, the people in charge. It really is like one big family.
“I think it’s really extraordinary that all parties are then so united, even in bad times. The fans are absolutely behind us, always. And we feel that, we need that, that’s important for us. ”
Despite joining on the back of the promotion from the Championship, Koch was well aware of the club he was signing for. He added: “I knew Leeds United of course, also from my dad for example. It’s a big club that you just know.
“I watched the documentary and got an impression that definitely captivated me. Then when you’re here, you only realize how overwhelming the club really is, how it fascinates the city and its people. The fans are unique. They are incredibly open and from the beginning they gave me this feeling that I am now a part of Leeds United, a part of them. The whole city stands together. ”
As an ambassador of Leeds Children’s Charity, Koch has fully aligned himself with the city he is now a huge part of. The German defender explained that, even though he is not the biggest fan of Yorkshire puddings, he is more than happy to continue his development with the club.
“I’m living in the here and now, feeling super happy at Leeds United,” he claimed. “I came here to develop on the pitch and as a person, which I have done. It’s just a good fit here. Still, I do not set myself any limits.
“I want to play soccer as successfully as I can, win titles with club and country. At the end of the day, it’s about never stopping, wanting to get better and always wanting to get the maximum out of it. That is my goal. ”
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