'Training under Bielsa is very special' - Leeds boss has made me a better player, says Koch

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Marcelo Bielsa Leeds Premier League 2020-21Getty Images

Training under Marcelo Bielsa is "very special" according to Robin Koch, who says the Leeds boss has made him a better all-round player.

Koch joined Leeds from Bundesliga outfit Freiburg for £13 million ($18m) last summer, committing to a four-year contract at Elland Road.

The 24-year-old has helped the Whites fight for a top-ten Premier League finish this season, and he credits Bielsa for taking his game to the next level with his unique approach on the training pitch.

What's been said?

Koch told Goal and SPOX: "Anyone who has seen our games this season knows how intense they are. It's constantly back and forth and we give full throttle for 90 minutes.

"For the spectator, it's very entertaining. For us players, it also requires a lot of strength and stamina. Training under Marcelo Bielsa is therefore also very special, but I am sure that it makes us all better players. I definitely see a further development in me personally this season.

"Passing and build-up play, overall playing with the ball is very important for us and of course we train that way. So I think it's already the case that I've improved in that again here at Leeds."  

Bielsa's record at Leeds

Bielsa took the top job at Elland Road back in 2018, and guided Leeds to the Championship play-offs in his first full season at the helm.

Leeds ultimately lost in the semi-finals to Derby County, but bounced back to win the division in 2019-20 and seal their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Bielsa's men have given a good account of themselves in the top-flight, rising to 10th after 35 fixtures, and could still mathematically finish as high as fifth if they win their remaining three games against Burnley, Southampton and West Brom.

How has Koch performed for Leeds?

Koch was a regular in Bielsa's line-up in the first half of the season, and he impressed with his defensive skills and willingness to get forward.

However, a serious knee injury disrupted his progress in early December, but he returned in a 2-1 win over Fulham on March 19 and now has 17 Premier League appearances to his name.

Koch is hoping he can go on to make Germany's squad for Euro 2020, and said: "I've been working hard, I'm back to 100% after my injury and fit for the European Championships.

"It's good to be back in the starting eleven and to be able to prepare for it in the best possible way. I can get more match practice in our last games in the Premier League."  

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